A mixed bag

All posts in the A mixed bag category

Pulling One’s Hair Out

Published November 21, 2022 by Nan Mykel

The Paris agreement reminds us that 2030 is the critical year  by which global CO2 emissions must have been reduced by 45 percent to avoid the irreversible consequences of climate change.

Earlier this year the United Nations stated that emissions need to have peaked by 2025, be reduced by 43 percent by 2030, and be at net zero by 2050.

Commitments made by countries of Mother Earth so far will reduce emissions by only 7 percent from 2019 levels by 2030.  (See Loss and Damage by Tina Gerhardt, the Nation, current edition. )

Saudi Arabia and other OPEC oil producers are discussing an output increase of up to 500,000 barrels a day, the group’s delegates said:  WSJ News per Dr. Rex.

Street fighting How To…

Published November 21, 2022 by Nan Mykel

DANGER…

Street fighting is not a sport. It’s a survival technique that teaches you to keep both feet on the ground at all times to ensure stability and balance, grab anything you can use as a weapon, and attack with speed and shocking, barbaric aggression. It’s not pretty, in fact it’s really ugly…but it’s extremely effective.

This is a reblog of a posting of a blog by the “other” Bob Shepherd on how to save your life IF

From Dr. Rex back to Bob Shepherd to you… Hats off to the Club Q patron responders…

@Bob Shepherd Author.com

DID YOU KNOW…?

Published November 21, 2022 by Nan Mykel

 

 

I didn’t…Bear with me for a few tidbits…

Many if not all members of the LGBTQ classification have had to struggle to accept themselves and feel okay about being a human being.  Can you imagine how they must feel in the face of such overt hate and harassment as was displayed in the Club Q murders in Colorado Springs?  Despite the fact that most of the individual harassers are most likely homophobic?  That’s the kind of Shadow Self that projects feelings onto others and ends with fighting that which is in himself, out there.  

_____________________

With 5 dead and 25 wounded in Colorado Springs by a 22-year old man wielding an AR-15-style automatic weapon, it may be a good time to give a nod to the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV).  In addition to data-driven policy development, CSGV is dedicated to taking on the National Rifle Association (NRA) and their toxic agenda.  They were the first gun violence prevention group to use the term “insurrectionism” to describe the NRA’s dangerous interpretation of the Second Amendment. By exposing the hypocrisy of the NRA’s messaging, CSGV has taken on the gun lobby for 45 years and will continue to keep them on the defensive.

_____________________

By 2030, India’s population is projected to be more than four times that of the United States. Yet India’s total emissions are still expected to be lower than those of the United States. And the average Indian’s emissions are expected to be just one-fifth of an American’s.   Source: NYTimes .

_____________________

In the headlines:  Nearly 200 nations agreed to establish a fund to help poor countries cope with climate disasters, completing a decades-long effort.

_____________________

I can’t figure out how anyone can be selling U.S. Forever stamps  at cutrate.  If you understand this, please advise!

 

Reblog to be read with a cup of coffee

Published November 19, 2022 by Nan Mykel
Nostalgia   September 6, 2022 by morethanenoughtruth      

 

It was again that time of year.  The fall color had had a go at confounding all eyes.  Those leaves had danced down through the tangle of tree limbs and settled in to become food for future canopy, where birds would build nests and raise demanding chirpers of like feather.  It was a good time to go back to visit Dale in his cozy West Virginia abode, where once his dad and I had set up housekeeping in an abandoned cabin and begun a family.  Dale and Chris, his wife, who loved him enough to undertake this wilderness sojourn, had decided to follow his parent’s example.  Dale grew up in Texas and California but never forgot his green hills home, his favorite song always John Denver’s “Country Roads.”  It made sense that he return to find his perfect mate.  Chris, like Dale, had been born in these hills, but she had stayed put.  Chris was good at popping out babies, but even better, she enjoyed being with them, actually spending time in the richness of engagement with their play.  Her favorite pastime was teaching small persons to illuminate coloring books, play with their dolls, roll their Tonka Trucks, and read their stories.  In another lifetime, Chris would have been a genius educator.  But in this lifetime, it is we, every one of us, who are gifted with having Chris as part of ours.

It was a good time to visit, to go back and remember those early days, to see the linoleum peeking out around the edge of the kitchen floor, where we had chosen that pattern from Giebel Hardware’s offerings and rolled it out over the oak flooring and it became our thoroughly modern place to cook meals and wash clothes.  Paint colors, chosen from the linoleum’s color palette covered the old walls, making the room shine and suggest maybe we had an eye for décor.  Grey, white, red, and black in intersecting diamonds inspired that old room to a life of its own.

In our cabin, each room blossomed.  The nursery glowed as baby chick yellow, with the floor a washable pattern of pink, blue, and white baby building blocks strewn across a grey marbled substrate.  The marriage bedroom took on the blue of a summer sky, the living room verdant like a green grass meadow welcoming any who would cavort through its blades and blossoms.  The one-time hay shed became a home.  My letters describing our interior refurbishing so inspired my Aunt Judy that she bought organza curtains which she dyed to match every room’s description.

That day those refreshed color choices remained even as when we first coated the old walls.  It was a Yankee-frame house, one built with no vertical studs leaving space where insulation might be secreted in between them to keep cold at bay.  Every wall was a row of vertical 1x planks covered with asphalt siding outside and wallpaper inside.  It was verrrrrry cold.  On freezing days inside moisture condensed and followed gravity, forming crystals as it went, to make of every peripheral wall a sheet of ice.  It was a frightening place to raise little ones.  Knowing what I know now, I wouldn’t have done it.  It’s a good thing that ignorance allows us so many lively adventures.  Otherwise life would be bland, and we would die without having yet lived.

Nostalgia must soften those memories that hide in the crevasses of the past, making them almost palatable in between the shadows of remember-whens.  It was surely nostalgia that led me to visit Dale and Chris that November day, with the leaves already having given up and the snow just a promise to arrive on the tail of the North wind.  Every visit to their domicile summoned murmurations of recollections.  There were ugly ones to be sure, but they seemed to draw back, pressing their coquettish cousins to the fore, allowing only good times to be revealed.  The sad were pleased to relinquish light in celebration of the happy.

There was plenty of time to linger after my sausage and gravy breakfast, nursing my cup of still warm coffee.  Dale had left to deliver mail.  It was cringe worthy to see him depart in his four-wheel-drive vehicle, a special edition Jeep that seat’s its driver, like a Brit, on the right side granting access to road-side postal boxes.  I knew he would brave every brutal muddy hollow on his route in order that the mail will get through.  He was one of our modern heroes, appreciated by the people who live in those forgotten places.  For many, he is their only connection with the outside world of people and climes that reach out via postage stamp.  Those patrons are not forsaken.

Eventually I lace up my hikers, head outside to climb my favorite hills and enjoy their discrete and separate views.  Each has its own vision, saved for when I come again to scale its crest and ask, “Remember me?”  I feel the stretch tugging leg muscles that remind me I am alive and a climber of hills and a celebrator of what difficult ascent can achieve—an honest prayer.

And now it is time to sing.  This is the only place where I can vocalize with my whole heart, true and free.  No one can hear me, so I can bare my throat to the sky.  “Somewhere over the rainbow, way up high, there’s a land that I heard of once in a lullaby.  Somewhere over the rainbow skies are blue, and the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.  Someday I’ll wish upon a star and wake up where the clouds are far behind me, where troubles melt like lemon drops away above the chimney tops. That’s where you’ll find me. Somewhere over the rainbow, birds fly over the rainbow, why then oh why can’t I?”  (Yip Harburg)

Next came some trudging along a lateral crest and then another stop for “When you walk through a storm hold your head up high, and don’t be afraid of the dark.  At the end of a storm is a golden sky and the sweet silver song of a lark.  Walk on through the wind, walk on through the rain though your dreams be tossed and blown.  Walk on, walk on, with hope in your heart, and you’ll never walk alone.  You’ll never walk alone.” (Richard Rogers)

I had called to the clouds and they came scudding across the sky dragging the wind after them in merry gusts.  I sang back to the wind proclaiming “I love you truly, truly dear, life with its sorrows, life with its tears, fades into dreams when I feel you are near, I love you truly, truly dear.” (Al Bowlly) That old wind’s brave retort circled ’round to have my back, while the gusts and I marched the cliff-side’s rim.

I sought refuge in a copse of cedars, imagined an organ accompaniment, and sang, “I know a green cathedral, a shadowed forest shrine, where leaves in love join hands above to arch your prayers and mine.  Within its cool depths sacred, the priestly cedars sigh, and the fir and pine lift arms divine unto the pure blue sky.” (Hahn/Johnstone)

There were lots of other songs.  I was full to bursting with them, wanting to give blessing to the hills and the sky.  I couldn’t head back without a verse of “Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.  I once was lost, but now am found, was blind but now I see.”  It was a time to stop and thank the wind and the sky for being there and for sharing my song.  That meant singing all the verses I could remember, however imperfectly.  “We’ve no less days to sing God’s praise than when we’ve first begun.”  (John Newton) The wind didn’t have a care, but for me the singing was done.  I had sung myself plumb out.

It was a flat trek along the river to the cabin, and I was looking forward to some lunch and revisiting the coffeepot.  It felt good to climb the front steps with my achy legs.  They were grateful to be home and looking forward to a spell of rest.  It had been too long since I had climbed my West Virginia hills.  While on the highest one, the best, I had sung the state song “Oh the West Virginia hills, how majestic and how grand with their summits pointing skyward like the Prince Emanuel’s land.  Is it any wonder then that my heart with rapture fills when I stand once more with loved ones on those West Virginia hills?” (Engle/King) Emotion gripped my throat, a poignant memory, one never to be forgotten.  Every time I hear that song, the teardrops gather to ask, “Will she cry?”  Most often she will.

When I opened the front door, I was startled to see the front room full of hunters gussied up in camo and hunter orange.  They sat ranged about the room, rifles supported against knees, their faces a spate of gloom and doom.  Several of them also balanced mugs of hot coffee, thanks to Chris’ hospitality.  They spoke in low tones, commiserating about how anybody could possibly decide to go out singing, on the first day of buck season—the high point of the year.

Drawn from all around the compass, they had stopped in to complain about all those songs that had surely chased every buck from Ritchie County into the neighboring jurisdiction.  I stammered an apology, my face crimson, explaining that nobody had warned me about the start of hunting season.  Those men, gentlemen all, forgave me.  One went on to compliment me on my version of Amazing Grace.  No wonder I had not heard any rifle shots.  The deer had departed back at “Somewhere over the rainbow.”  And then the hunters, too, drained their mugs and took off to see if there might be a laggard deer—somewhere.

IMAGE Ruth Scribbles

Mother Earth Smiles

Published November 19, 2022 by Nan Mykel

 

 

 

BREAKING NEWS-NYTimes

In a reversal, the U.S. said it wouldn’t block creation of a climate damages fund for developing countries. No funding deal has yet been reached.

Saturday, November 19, 2022 1:00 PM ET
The announcement reverses decades of opposition and marks a major breakthrough in one of the most contentious issues at the heart of United Nations climate talks.

 

Only an Elder Could Write This

Published November 19, 2022 by Nan Mykel

I planned to begin this post with a remark about the movie Little Big Man, released in 1970, with the sentence, “Do you remember Little Big Man, where the elders went out to the jungle to die when they decided it was time?”  Only problem is that I just looked the movie up via Google, and it wasn’t the jungle the chief wandered into but the mountaintop, and he prayed for a different ending and then he didn’t die but returned to his clan, accompanied by Dustin Hoffman.

One thing Covid19 was handy for was culling the population of ancients like me.   In addition to facing the devastation of the projected climate change, our country might soon be staggering under the weight of carrying so many old folks, and even helping them increase their number by research and big tech.  Soon–unless deadly viruses thin my older population again–(the percentages of the aged in our population is growing in the face of ever increasing automation) we the elders are headed for being a heavy burden on our country.  Currently perhaps we are fortunate that so many of our lawmakers belong to the elderly population, and are highly unlikely to sacrifice themselves.

What the Republicans called  “Death Panels” in 2009 –Sarah Palin’s phrase “death panels” derailed proposed provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) to pay physicians for end-of-life discussions with patients, a policy designed to make dying more humane, something all Americans desire. Even now, “death panels” has truth-value for approximately half of Americans and is used to paint ACA components as threatening to “pull the plug on Grandma.” David M Frankford

It sounds like your elders are not into self-sacrifice for the good of our younger brothers and sisters yet, and climate change may wipe us all out at about the same time.  However, the spectre imagined by the 1970 movie  Soylent Green tugs at my mind: what of actual food shortages?  I don’t know how contorted my memory is, but I recall the impression the movie made on me when it portrayed a scene of elders willingly sacrificing themselves to be food for the living, but just prior to being harvested were  treated to a rounded surround portraying the former world of nature–verdant forests and trees, pets and other animals in nature.  In my memory of the movie it was an exceedingly peaceful experience as they waited to sacrifice themselves for the good of their younger fellow human beings.

Which brings us to the topic of food shortages in the cusp of climate change.  Can we accommodate the switch to doctored seaweed and fungi, and will there be enough to go around?  See Google entries for creating seafood from fungi and seaweed.  Relieving  agriculture’s percentage of the climate’s pollution would be significant.

All of which leads us to the personal feelings of the elderly about their own death.  Even in the face of great pain, most seem to refrain from suicide–and Sarah Palin didn’t help!  One problem with the thought of suicide is that it imparts a different lesson to offspring about how to solve problems.  Subsequent suicides within the family do become somewhat more common.  Suicide by cop is primarily available only to the younger black folks. Also, there’s the religious element, especially given the reported increase in spiritual concern among the most elderly.

At times I feel apologetic about living so long and inconveniencing the family, but I don’t voice that.  How much do they mind the bother?  Then I remember my dear relatives whose continued existence is important to me, even with the bother.  Something about their continued existence helps fortify me inside.  So it’s a conundrum, and if we survive climate change it will be a growing problem  if we return to the lopsided percentage of the older population.  Of course, I remember now that AI doesn’t need to eat.

As for me, I’m in for the duration, at 87.

BLUE COLLAR BLUES

Published November 17, 2022 by Nan Mykel

Work and the future of it in the age of automation is the focus of Alyssa Battistoni’s article/book reviews in the Nation’s Fall Books issue.  She is the author of A Planet to Win: Why We Need a Green New Deal, and she draws upon Automation and the Future of Work by Aaron Benanav and Work Won’t Love You Back by Sarah Jaffe.

Benanav reminds us that automation theorists hold that technological advances have increased productivity and reduced the need for workers altogether. Manufacturing has borne the brunt thus far, but artificial intelligence, they claim, threatens to replace many more jobs in the service sector, as well as in many professional fields.  One widely cited study estimates that 47 percent of jobs are at risk of being automated.  Many automation theorists are Silicon Valley tech boosters, who are thrilled by new advances in AI and information technology and concerned about their social consequences as an afterthought.  [Remember, one gadget even lets you know how cold it is outside without the bother of opening the door].

Jaffe’s vision of post-work politics is more clearly rooted in her descriptions of how workers are organizing today, and she places more faith in the potential of their agency to remake the world…..Moments of possibility can appear in unexpected places.  Although they are often associated with autonomous movements like Occupy Wall Street that explicitly seek to disrupt 6he rhythms of everyday life, Jaffe points out that they also appear in more “organized” forms of action, like teachers’ strikes.  We can even generate such moments when we imagine our lives otherwise.

“What would you do with your time if you didn’t have to work?” she likes to ask.

Such utopian moments won’t abolish capitalism, Jaffe acknowledges.  But the projects that generate them give us a glimpse of alternatives of bonds among people that can drive struggles forward. Political power can only emerge, partially and unevenly, out of actual experiences and relationships–the kinds of relationships of solidarity and,  yes, love, that organizing can create and sustain.

But Nan Mykel wonders, who’s going to feed us while we enjoy our time?   In the next post or two:  the problem of an aging population that only an elder could write.

After a short hiatus

Published November 17, 2022 by Nan Mykel

What does a hiatus mean?  It sounds sort of formal.  I’m sufficiently old=fashioned to still use a paperbound dictionary:  I was right!  There are several more meanings than I mean–[see also yawn]–Including things related to passage in an organ, two vowel sounds without pause, herniating through the esophageal….

Now that I’ve lost my readership crowd, I’ll tell you all about it:  It all started with my printer not working. After a helper tried to fix it, I lost my internet connection.  (I had already lost my phone accessibility because I couldn’t figure out how to use it.)  See what I mean about planned obsolescense being evil?  A couple or so years ago I had a great phone that looked like a small flip phone, and it didn’t pretend to be anything else.  Then the battery went dead and a new battery was as expensive as a new phone. Not imagining that I couldn’t buy another soon, I let it “go out of style” as big tech crept in during the night.  I’ll give you a tip on how to get rich: Come up with a “flip top” that will only call and/or answer.  There are other oldsters all over the world I’m sure that suffer from this lack.  The most-touted phone for seniors is very difficult to use.  There are smart phones, cell phones, “dumb phones” (not dumb), and “wise phones”, the ads of the latter’s ads I’ve seen have all the ordering info but not the price.

Anyway, that’s not all  that has been happening off-blog.  My daughter visited and taught me a trick my mother never shared with me:  When your cuppa coffee or tea is too hot, make it cool faster by inserting a metal eating utensil in it to draw off the heat.  The only thing I can remember her teaching me (other than to be nice) was when at a traffic light and needing to turn left, pull out into the intersection a little bit so you can make it when the light begins to change.

And oh yes–my “helper” quit me because her schooling was getting too hard.  So, cast on my own I am succeeding by  doing one chore a day (plus cooking and/or eating goulash and taking my medicine):  one of the weekdays is for showering.  Organizing my papers is out of the question.

My daughter came up from Atlanta to testify before a hearing with lawmakers (and breakers) at the State House in Columbus.  It was about the state wanting to close all longterm care facilities for the neediest disabled individuals.  (I went with her a couple of years ago and when it came time to speak I was sitting in a stall undergoing “an intestinal upset.”)  My youngest daughter needs to continue her residence at the long term facility in Gallipolis.  Since I have no car anymore, my oldest daughter and I were able to visit her, an hours’ drive away.

You may have guessed that I live alone–and talk/write too much when I have an audience.  So, back to the blog:  I do complain, but  NO LONGER about the election,  I still fret about corporations buying elections, climate change and technology replacing workers. I just came across a quote of the richest man alive, maybe, who plans to start charging  $7.99 a month in order that users of his newly purchased Twitter can have a blue check mark by their Twitter name, to assure their authenticity.  He  is quoted by Time as saying “It creates a lord and peasants system.”

The November 21-28 issue of Time magazine features almost one hundred new innovations (and mentions a hundred more).  I may be old and sensitive, but as stated earlier I have misgivings about the mass move to high tech, especially when reading about a “Mini Nuclear Reactor,” the first of which could be running by 2029 in Idaho.  Each such reactor could power 60,000 homes.

It seems the push to offset the climate crisis is being fought more fervently by others than the giant coal and oil producers?

THE PANDEMIC

Published November 12, 2022 by Nan Mykel

 

 

OUTTA WORK

I have no nickel

I have no dime

All I have

is too much time.

 

Well shut my mouth

and call me crazy

I could be pushing

up a daisy,

 

Not hiding from a bug

I cannot see–

Teeny tiny him and

big fat me.

 

Evolution’s

dirty trick

lets mutants make

thousands sick.

 

Feasting on innards

they replicate

draining life from

the most delicate.

 

If praying helps you

please give it a try.

NOW, not in some

sweet bye and bye.

 

 

Stream of Consciousness

Published November 11, 2022 by Nan Mykel

WITHOUT CONSTRAINT

Floating down a sluggish stream

under bed covers. It’s night and

Trail Mix tempts. Kersplash, a fish.

A whipporwill’s call. Can’t share

Trail Mix with a dream bird.

Comfy, moored in the here and now

like it or not. Like it.

Here it all makes sense.

__________________________

CONUNDRUM

Don’t say why, say how.

Why pre-supposes an

unattainable degree

of reason, as in Truth.

Happiness happened

in graduate school with

wonder and growing edges.

How to grow more before

I stop dead?  How?

And why?

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