Thursday, August 17, 2017

Idaho Hiatus

Look at the Sun; don't look at the Sun; think about anything other than the Sun.

Don't Trust the Squirrel With a Child's Face

You Are Judged

People don't like being judged, but you know what? You are judged.

Paper Tiger

Trump's threats against Obamacare may have no substance. More poor people will get covered, but there will be huge premium increases for the middle class, if Trump tries sabotage:
After today, however, it might be time to stop worrying and learn to love Trump's bomb threats. According to the new analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, ending the cost-sharing subsidies would likely backfire badly for the administration, costing the federal government $194 billion over a decade without fatally undermining Obamacare's exchanges. In fact, the move could even allow some Americans to obtain insurance coverage for free while modestly reducing the number of uninsured by 1 million.
And, in fact, the payments are apparently being made, for now. Trump has other fish to fry right now.

Wednesday, August 16, 2017

People Heading for the Exits

Trump is losing the Neocons with Charlottesville. Many of them are Jews. They aren't down with White Supremacy. Trump's losing the Mormons too. Because their religious practice hinges on international outreach. People heading for the exits:

Never Forget

So Much Winning

A friend's Facebook post:
My Sad but True story. So today I was at a four way stop sign intersection waiting to turn left. When it was my turn I proceeded into the intersection and saw a last-minute pedestrian starting to walk across the street in front of my car. I simply slowed down and raised my hand and politely said "Sorry." I then waited for her to safely get to the curb. She scowled at me and angrily remarked "Oh ok Sic Heil." At first I was dumbfounded by the comment. But then I realized she literally thought that I was giving her the Arian Nation Nazi salute. I cannot believe how a friendly wave to a pedestrian turned into something racist. If you need me I'll be inside my house with my shades drawn listening to a.m. radio waiting for the other shoe to drop.

Dillinger House

From 1981-86, my home in Tucson was across the street from the Dillinger House, where the notorious gangster and his gang were captured on Jan. 24, 1934. According to Dary Matera's “The Life and Death of America’s First Celebrity Criminal: John Dillinger”:

"Incredibly, in a matter of hours, the “hick town” Tucson police had captured John Dillinger and his entire inner circle, seized their weapons, and confiscated $27,000 of their stolen money. It was the kind of devastating coup d’etat that eluded the embarrassed law enforcement armies of Indiana, Illinois, Ohio, and J. Edgar Hoover’s G-Men. To pile on the humiliation, the Tucson cops had done it without firing a single shot."

Even Mitt Gets It

Heading into the Eclipse Apocalypse

August 21st holds a special place in firefighting history. It is the date of the Big Blowup of 1910, when 87 people died across Idaho and Montana when massive winds fanned thousands of tiny fires in tinder dry forests (also after a wet, snowy winter). Primitive firefighting was no match for the flames, and most of the fatalities were firefighters caught in the inferno. Multiple towns were wiped completely off the map, and the then-booming metropolis of Wallace, Idaho, was evacuated among harrowing conditions that saw 2/3 of the town burn down.

...In 2017, however, I fear the worst. I fear hundred to thousands of tiny fires started by eclipse-watchers being blown up by dry, hot winds that are common in the west this time of year. I fear people panicking and trying to evacuate, then getting into accidents that block narrow, single-lane mountain and rangeland roads. I fear hundreds of people trapped in their cars, overtaken by flames, and no way to rescue them or suppression resources to save them. I fear we will finally see the wildfire that kills over 100 people, or many, many more.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Awww! Brian Liked It!

In March, I wrote a memoir about growing up in Corrales in the 60s and early 70s. A friend (Brian Cowlishaw, an English professor at Northeastern State University in Oklahoma) recently read it - and liked it! So, maybe some folks here might too.

Brian writes:
Full disclosure: Marc is a friend, so I'm not an objective reviewer of his work.
One of the greatest tests of memoir, I think, is how urgently it makes you want to get writing your own. By this standard, A New Mexico Childhood is pure gold! Marc writes scenes from childhood in brief, laconic micro-snapshot-style vignettes. Once in a great while, I found this just a tiny bit unsatisfying; I wanted him to go on with the story, tell more about the aftermath and/or his responses. Overall, though, the style works effectively. I got a whole lot of pleasure from reading this book, and I expect you will too, especially if you're, say, over 40!

The book is available here:
Here's a selection from the book - On The "Women's Report":
I was ten years old and it was Christmas time in Albuquerque, 1966. One of my classmates' mothers hosted a show every weekday afternoon on KOAT TV-7 called "The Women's Report,” a 15-minute daily segment filled with society news from an arid town that had hardly any society. Our 5th-grade teacher, Mr. Chavez, got our entire class invited to stage a Nativity Play. The entire 3:45-4:00 p.m. time slot was handed to us 10-year-old children. Because of my smooth delivery, I was chosen to narrate the story.

It's disorienting enough to enter a TV studio for the first time, but we were flummoxed by the appearance of Uncle Roy, KOAT TV-7’s kiddie-show clown. Uncle Roy already ruled our inner fantasy lives with his cartoons, jokes, natty plaid jacket, bowler hat, and zesty manic edge, but in person he seemed expressionless and inscrutable. It was worrisome; first, that Uncle Roy was a real human being with a real physical existence, and second, that he was there to watch everything we did. What would Uncle Roy’s trained eye see, or not see, in us kids?

The Nativity Play itself was a blur of stuttering, muffled voices. My classmates were petrified at the idea of being on TV. Byron Shealy vowed that he would never let a camera see his face, and he tried to keep his word. Clad as a shepherd, he never stood still, wandering hither and yon, veering away every time the camera's red light pointed his way, hiding behind the foliage and the stuffed sheep. My friend David, one of the Three Kings, forgot his lines and had to be prompted by a girl shepherd wearing a beard.

As Narrator, I gamely struggled on, with the camera relentlessly staring me in the face and impassive Uncle Roy visible in the distance. Towards the end of the play my eyes veered away from the prepared text. Suddenly, I lost my place in the script. I was on the verge of panic! All was not lost, however. Through obsessive over-preparation I had managed to memorize the entire text, and was able to save myself.

And then it was all over. The lights went dark. Uncle Roy disappeared, his judgment unknown. Uncle Roy's studio audience of excitable kids began arriving for his approaching show. Our 15-minutes of fame had expired. We hit the cold pavement outside just as it began snowing....

Elly Award Nominations 2017

Quite to my surprise, DMTC picked up about five or six nominations for the Young Performers Theater's "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat."

Guess I'll have to bitch about something else for the next year.

Michael Chapdelaine Concert in Folsom

There is a California idyll - friends sitting in a back yard listening to music on a bright summer afternoon. Paradise!

Sunday was such a day, with Michael Chapdelaine on guitar. The occasion was a private concert with Alison and Daniel Roest in Folsom. Daniel is Artistic Director and former President of the Sacramento Guitar Society. In the early 90s, I took ballet class with Alison.
Michael Chapdelaine is a Professor of Guitar at UNM in Albuquerque. The purpose of the concert was to raise money to help replace thousands of dollars of musical and video equipment stolen from his Sandia Heights home just outside Albuquerque when he went on international tour.

After the concert, I talked to Michael about the theft. I could tell he remains livid. Very hard to lose all that. Doesn't speak well for Albuquerque either.

We also talked about spectacular bicycling accidents. He has stories to tell....