August 3-6

Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol 1 p. 537
102.0 miles

365 recordings of 39 types, 95 old SVU. 24% clear.

We went to Marin Headlands Thursday. The drive was long, but uneventful.  Padreic slept on the way there.  The first place we went was to the Marine Mammal Center, which is really much changed from when we lived in Novato. It once was just a few tanks, outdoors,  and a small building as a gift shop. Now it's a huge building and you can look at the hospital and even, maybe, see a necropsy. (We were warned. But we figured the kids would be fascinated, not repulsed. It was a moot point anyway.) I thought it would be nice to "adopt an animal" for the kids, but Gareth said "let Joanna choose" and Joanna said "I don't want to adopt an animal." Grumble. I did it anyway, Repo, an orphan sea otter, happily rehabilitated and out in the ocean.

Then to the beach, where we had a lunch and then went beach combing. As I suspected, Gareth was not interested in finding colored stones, but Bernadette and Joanna each found some carnelians. Padreic found a piece of driftwood with a hole in it with water, so he happily was pouring rocks into it.  I took Gareth for a hike, and we went up close to a bunker. We turned around when I couldn't spy the other three from the hill any more so thought they might be going back to the car (and I had the car key). They were actually going back, slowly, so it was good timing, but G&I could have gone a little farther. Maybe next time.

"Look, it's a Seal!" A Feather!

Prince Knut DSC00086

Driving back was bad, though.  Padreic was all excited that we'd be going through the "long tunnel" again, but we went on the coast road and got caught up with people hoping to park at the overlook. There were people driving down the wrong side of the road, and a real mess. We eventually got to where we could give up and get going.  Padreic was satisfied with the rainbow tunnel. Then highway 37 was a real mess. The sign said "40 minutes to Sears Point", but it was more than twice that.  Then there were normal slow downs for rush hour.  We didn't get back to Elk Grove till 6:30!

Friday I was in definite need of a rest day.

I did go to the bank with my ten thousand dollar check and my box of change. At first this was an exercise in futility... the Coinstar machine was full, and the drive-thru ATM wouldn't take my deposit. So I had to go into the bank and wait fifth in line, and the two tellers had people who apparently wanted something impossible at their cages.  It was about a 15 minute wait. As I suspected, the ATM couldn't handle large checks.  I also got the information on how I will add the money to the CD which expires in September.
While I was waiting, I heard an enormous rattle in the lobby so I went to check after completing the deposit, and sure enough, the Coinstar machine was being emptied.  Yay! I had to drive around the block in order to get in front again, but I was able to empty my box of change, and got $43.29!  I had to go back to the tellers, but this time there was not a big line, so I got the money.

At home I checked my finances. I have bills to pay this month, but I am slowly creeping back to where I was pre-Africa.

I called Lindy, my friend in Laramie, and told her when I expect to be there. We had a nice chat.

Saturday I dashed out to a new place in Citrus Heights for the Second Saturday breakfast. Then after that a long drive to Elk Grove, where I picked up Padreic and took him to his last Artful Tot. He was much more cheerful than last month. I also saw some people from Wee Wednesdays, so they're looking forward to seeing him soon.

There were fun things to do in the messy room, nothing he was interested in at Gato, so he spent most of the time in the Tot Room. His favorite things were the shape blocks with transparencies and he didn't want to share. He cried when a 2-year-old ran off with a wheel. I comforted him and told him the little boy would give it back soon, and sure enough. Then I started telling him when we would leave (in 10 minutes, in 9 minutes, in 8 minutes, ...) but he still cried when it was time. I stopped in the messy room again to talk to a friend and Padreic discovered the ice blocks with bugs to melt... but they were closing. Fortunately, there was a new exhibit to check out, Pl!nk. It's great, and I hope Bernadette will take him sometime later this month when the kids are in school. He couldn't figure out how to put the triangles together but I'm sure Mommy can help him.

DSC00100 DSC00107

DSC00112 DSC00110

I went to Mass in the evening, and saw my former Girl Scout co-leader. She remembered our trip to San Francisco with the troop. It was so complicated and I did it all without the Internet!

So Sunday I was able to weed some more and plant out beans, which I hope will be sprouting nicely by the time I get back.
Donald Trump is a warning. Trump is the best case scenario. If you somehow depose him via your smarmy shenanigans, what comes along next is really going to upset you. You need to understand something.
Trump is not our last chance. He's your last chance.

--Kurt Schlichter

Bill Mitchell
Since Democrats focused on Russiagate, they've lost 4 special elections, lost a Governor and have record low fundraising.
Trump is winning.
I have to agree, and our cowardly GOP won't lift a finger to stop it.

If they succeed in somehow unseating a duly elected President, those sworn to uphold the Constitution will have destroyed it — and the country will never be the same. Worse still, they have given the middle finger salute to the more than 50% of America that elected Trump — and personally, I have small (YUGE) problem with that. They have no right.

A handful a power-hungry idealogues and their media roadies are are not entitled to take over this country just because they want to.

We have elections for that. And we just had one which they lost. This doesn't need to stop. It needs TO BE STOPPED. And I suspect the only person left to stop it is Trump himself.

I hope he does, no matter how big the outcry — because this is well and truly a coup. And America does not do coups.

July Summary

I walked 31.5 miles in June. I read 6 pages of Decline and Fall. And no change overall with my weight, after a promising loss which I got back last week.

I read 4 books, saw 0 movies, 2 plays, and I went to 4 Masses.

I found 3 caches in July(!) and I am at 9042.

I proofed 0 pages, for a change.  I think maybe I'll manage to do some in September. I'm in 1470th (out of 48734 proofers) place in the first proofing round, with 873 pages proofed, 37th out of 6108 in P2 with 23525 pages, 683rd (of 1072) in P3 with 469 pages, and formatting 995th place (4656) with 1020 pages.

In Flickr I have 63,207 pictures. I have 382 sets to work on, still. 1,751,416 views.

On Netflix:  Home Fires: Oz: Season 2 Disc 3, and Season 3 Disc 1; Arctic Tale, and Lord Peter Wimsey Mysteries: Five Red Herrings.
Now reading: Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (yeah, right); Telling the Story, OSF Actors; Pepys' Diary; American Fiction; The Aye-Aye and I, Gerald Durrell;  Embarrassments by PJ Nel; and In The Teeth of the Evidence by Dorothy L. Sayers.

Waiting on the Car

Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol 1 p. 537
100.1 miles

369 recordings of 41 types, 101 old SVU. 23% clear.

Tuesday the first the tree guy came and chopped off the dead limbs and the bamboo and the stuff around the power lines, but didn't do the one thing I really wanted, which was to get rid of the lower limbs making the tree so low I could touch it. We argued a bit about whether I'd told him no, but he finally got it the way I want it. For more $$. I was feeling really poverty-stricken without cash and no way to get to the bank in this heat.

Before. The Looming Tree. After

Dead Wood DSC00055

The rest of the day was pretty much a waste. I hung around waiting for news of my car, and nothing. I called in the early afternoon and the service guy found out that the car hadn't been looked at yet, but he'd call me when it was.

And he didn't.

I did get about 8 more pieces into the puzzle.

Vince told me about Eric's great trip to Kentucky, and we talked a little about gardening, and I babbled.

Then Wednesday I called the garage about 10 and they'd looked at it and fixed the problem (the valve in the capless gas tank)The car was ready. I complained about the two days of waiting and got an apology and a discount, and finally got it picked up. I stopped at the bank and at the commissary, and then vegged out the rest of the day.

You know what's the funniest thing about all this [Scaramucci, Priebus, Sessions, Spicer]? The funniest thing is that it's still better than having the Democrats in power!
-- said somebody more clever than I am

July Leaves With a Whimper

Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol 1 p. 537
95.4 miles

365 recordings of 34 types. 102 old SVU and I will have completed the 11th series next week. 26% clear.

Sunday, after church, I helped with Communion at the nursing home. This went faster than I expected.  I had time to stop for milk and wine at the store before going to pick Alicia up.  I took her some fancy dog food that Bernadette gave me. (They got it by accident... it's tuna based so Spooky was jealous.)

Then I brought her back here, showed her the new water dish, had her open the baby gate which keeps the dog out of the cat's litter box, and then told her how to water.  I've tried to make it as simple as possible for her.  After I took her home I vegged the rest of the day.

I did work on the puzzle, again about 10 pieces, but they seem to be coming faster. I have strings where each piece I touch is the right one, and then droughts where nothing seems to fit anywhere. At 10 a day, I only need 90 or so more days!

Yesterday started out well. I drove to Elk Grove and then Bernadette took us all to Lodi to the Worlds of Wonders museum, which is nicely open on Mondays.  Padreic was so excited that he was going, too.  He headed right for the little kids' area and started playing with the trains.

Padreic went right to the trains! Joanna Built a Skyscraper

Since the main reason I was along was to be there so B. could move the car in 90 minutes, I headed off for a geocache, making a whopping three for the month of July! It was a micro cache that apparently no one knew how to sign, since the log was full after only 6 or so people. I did it right, "7/31 SC". Idiots!  It was a pleasant walk since the heat came along later.

Poor Bernadette... her camera was malfunctioning. It had taken pictures while they were camping on the weekend, but today just showed a blurred screen. So it was HER turn to be frustrated.

The kids had a great time. Joanna came in to play with Padreic, but eventually I had to explain to her that she plays like a 7 year old and Padreic doesn't understand that. He would probably have spent the whole time in the little kids' area but followed her out (and later did the cat imitation, in and out, in and out. This involves shoes off and shoes on.) I had brought a book to sit in there with him but only managed 2 pages, mostly because of supervising Joanna.

Joanna made a whirligig which worked beautifully. Gareth built a rocket and especially liked the tornado game. There was a game I helped Padreic with which kept changing, and he got bored just as it came up with contractions, and I thought Joanna would like it. And she did. I tried to teach her a test trick (if you can't find the answer go to something else and then the answer will be easier when there are fewer choices) but it went right over her head. Padreic had my help getting into the plane and didn't want to come out. Eventually I told him "goodbye" and he decided to come out. He is getting very verbal and easier to talk to.

Gareth and his Rocket Joanna and her Whirligig

Padreic Flies a Plane

After two hours, there were some signs of meltdown and I asked if people were hungry. We went to A&W where I was a very bad girl and had a root beer float.  The kids finished with ice cream.  Padreic was thrilled when Joanna came back with her cone. "Ice ceam! Me!!"

Yum... Ice Ceam! ME!!

And so back to Elk Grove by 1:30.  I was looking forward to a quiet afternoon at home but on the way home my "check engine" light came on. I looked it up then called the garage and then took it in. I even forgot to let the dog back in the house. The shuttle guy didn't turn up for awhile so I actually didn't get home till 3:30 or so.  Whaddamess, though I'm glad it happened here instead of in the Utah desert.  Now I just hope it won't be big bucks to fix it!!

Lindsay Wildlife Experience

Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol 1 p. 537
90.2 miles

369 recordings of 34 types, 107 old SVU. 25% clear.

I've been trying to get Bernadette and the kids down to the Lindsay Wildlife Experience in Walnut Creek all year, and something else always came up.  Wednesday we finally managed it. The day before they'd stayed late to the fair so they were still getting up when I arrived, but we got out the door fairly well. But then traffic was terrible. It took about an hour to get through Davis, so it was lunch time for sure after a potty stop at Target in Pleasant Hill.

I'd seen what the Wednesday traffic.was like down there, last week, so I had a back route planned to the museum (turns out that after our late start, traffic would have been OK directly, but who knew?) We spied The Habit and I remembered my neighbor talking about a lettuce-wrapped hamburger so we stopped there. We found outdoor seating, and I had a lettuce-wrapped teriyaki burger which was MESSY but delicious. The kids had kid hamburgers, Padreic had my fries, and Bernadette had a chicken-cranberry salad. All very good, and I'll be visiting the Habit again.

Finally, about 1, we actually got to the Wildlife Experience. There were lots of animals, mostly birds, including a golden eagle. A lady was showing off a peregrine when we arrived. (My favorite was the Great Gray Owl.)  Many many things for the kids to do. The thing they all liked best was the flight simulator. They lay down on a bird silouette and then could fly over Mt. Diablo.  There were also magnifying glasses and a game by the hospital on what to feed injured wildlife.

The kids got their stretched pennies and played a lot in the free play room. When they finally got too rambunctious, it was time to leave. First, potty. Joanna hadn't gone all day, but said she didn't need to. I said "yes you do, go" and Bernadette and I waited around. Finally Joanna came over and told her mom she was SCARED and started to cry. Bernadette was exasperated and came to me... I too, went to the bathroom door where J. was in tears, said "forgodssake, Joanna, go!" took her in, put her in a stall, took down her pants and sat her on the toilet, then went out of the stall and indeed she did need to. I got her through flushing and washing and out the door, no longer in tears.

I am reminded of when I was 6 and in first grade in the old Prep school. The bathroom was in the basement and I was scared to go down in the dark. Many's the time I'd wet my pants at recess. So I feel guilty about being so exasperated, but she really has to get used to going in strange places without an adult with her.
The whole day was nice, overall, though I was frustrated at having no camera. I was delighted to find the new one when I got home. It's a bit smaller than the last one, and doesn't have as many special programs, (which I never used anyway.)  The one thing I will miss is the digital zoom. The battery is slightly different and they say it won't work in a camera that used the ones I had... but it is apparently ok to use the old battery in the new camera, as I did immediately. Yay!!!


The first picture. I had over 19000 with the lost camera!

Thursday I took the car in for its tune-up at 4 miles over where I was supposed to come in! I also wanted them to check on the corrosion in the left rear brake light socket. This made it really expensive.

I took the shuttle home and waited. At 1:30 I called in to find out how it was going and it was done... David told me he was going to call, but I'm glad I didn't wait for him, since it still takes a long time for the shuttle to come. I got pet food on the way home but decided I didn't want to take it out of the car till the morning when it was cooler.  I forgot the WPAC dinner, but wouldn't have been up for it anyway.

On Friday I did absolutely nothing except a bit of the jigsaw puzzle. Also on Saturday... about 10 pieces each day, but it's getting easier. Saturday I sorted some more of the shapes, and that seems to make it easier for me.

For the first time in months I've been home when the gardeners come, so I was able to ask them to trim a bush in front. Their cleanup on that was a bit off, but thank goodness.

Browsing the Internet (I was interested in the Bradbury building in LA  and that led to some other things we saw when we were there.) I looked up Angels Flight: "It was shut down in 2001, following a fatal accident, and took nine years to commence operations again. The railroad restarted operations on March 15, 2010.[5] It was closed again from June 10, 2011, to July 5, 2011, and then again after a minor incident on September 5, 2013."
So Rich and I just missed it in February of 2010.

Anita Ketcham:
Other than Collins, the Senators and Representatives who voted against repeal ran on repeal. You think their voters are going to just give up? After 7 years of fighting against it? With full proof that the government couldn't organize a one car parade? With Charlie Gard being sentenced to death at the same time? With the VA killing off our veterans and buying art and romantic getaways for the bureaucrats?
You all know it won't work. Great Britain tried it and it sucks. Their population is about the size of NJ. Imagine the size of the American bureaucracy that would be required to bring it to us. It's simply no going to happen.

Possible titles for Hillary's new book:
Mean Kampf
Oops I Did It Again
A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to My Coronation
Look! I Can Open My Mouth So Wide It's Scary
Not So Great Expectations
Trump and Circumstance
Madame Ovary
The Art of the Uranium Deal
Why Am I Not on the NYT Best Sellers List Already You Might Ask
Seizure the Day
I Was Told There'd Be Fireworks
Not Anyone's President
Seven Secrets of Highly Resentful People
I came, I saw, I lost
She Perspired
Benghazi There, Done That
I'll Tell You When the Drugs Kick In
Bitter, She Wrote
It's STILL My Turn
Where the Wild Delusional Things Are
Pantsuit Power!
Nasty Your Way to Glory
The Vagina Epilogue

But Russia Tho (the much-anticipated sequel to 'But Trump Tho')
I DO NOT Smell Like Cabbage
The Never-Ending Story
Delete This Book
Screech Your Way to Victory
Pepe & Me
Home Servers for Dummies
There's Still Chelsea, You Know
I'm With Me
The Really Big Book of Really Dirty Tricks
And I Would Have Gotten Away With It If It Weren't For You Meddling Leakers
Still Gangsta After All These Years
Dr. Strangerun [or] How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Deep State
Tequila Mockingbird
But Seriously, Screw All You Guys
It Came From the Woods
Fear & Loathing at the Kremlin
Buy This Book or You're a Racist, Sexist, Bigoted Islamophobe
Fifty Shades of Cray
The Deplorable
Like, With a Cloth?
Huma's Big Adventure

The Hot Sauce Chronicles
How I Became President Despite Heavy Sniper Fire (as told to Brian Williams)
No, Really, The Devil Does Wear Prada
Can't We Just Drone That Guy?
Several Hundred Pages of Random Self-Pity and Blame-Shifting
Sir Edmond Hillary Was Named After Me
What Difference Does it Make?
How to Lose Elections and Alienate People
Crime and No Punishment
Mein Krap
My Life as a Fashion Icon
I See Dead People (Who Could Potentially Still, You Know, Vote)
Oh, The Places You'll Fall!
Huckleberry, Fin.

Camino On My Mind

Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol 1 p. 537
85.7 miles
369 recordings of 33 types. 100 old SVU. I see in March that number got as high as 287, but then they started deleting them and I didn't realize it until May.

Because I went to Mass on Saturday night, I got to sleep in a bit on Sunday, and went over to the farmer's market, where I bought some fruits and vegetables. Then Bernadette had been to U-Pick at Davis Ranch on Saturday and brought me a huge bag of veggies, squash and tomatoes, Sloughhouse Corn and peppers and two lovely eggplants. I am going to be so healthy this next week!!

We went to see "All's Well that Ends Well" which I'm certain I never saw before. I quite enjoyed it...I could hear the actors and understood what was going on, and the costumes were gorgeous!  I was amazed to catch an allusion to the Camino, the pilgrimage to Great St. Jaques.  It's astonishing to me how many references I catch to it now, since I'd never heard of it before 2013.

Monday the cleaners came, and then I tried to return the camera. My instructions hadn't said anything about I had to write the battery number on the label, so I had to come home to get it. Not on the instructions, as I said, so I had to go online and look at Amazon to learn what the number was.

Then as I was leaving the house, I saw someone at the neighbors' house, and I drove around the block so I could talk to him. I was wondering what had happened to the walker with a seat that I loaned to Marge. This was her son and he called her... and she's thrown it out!! She didn't think it was a walker, just a seat ("it didn't have handles" Yes it did, lady) and "I suppose I could have sent it back but I put it in the garbage." Grrr. The son was offering to buy me a new one, but I was polite and said no, it's not really like I need it. But she's not on my favorite person list, for sure. I guess she was sick when I took it over and didn't realize it was a loan. (this about 3 years ago and she's been out of the house almost that long.)

Anyway, then I got the camera mailed off. Then I deposited the check from the doctor's office, quick before they change their minds again, and bought eggs and vinegar.

Tuesday, the Feast day of St. James,  I planned to go see Dunkirk after the ladies' breakfast (where most of the ladies were people I'm not really friends with, though time makes it better.)  However, I had the wrong time for when Dunkirk was on.  Oh, well. When I came home I just did my best couch potato imitation. I did take some books to the library, and went to mail a grief booklet to Helena. I thought I would use the post office next to the library, but the fire marshall closed it!

Businesses evacuated from Arden Arcade strip mall deemed unsafe.

Camera Woes

Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol 1 p. 537
85.7 miles

364 recordings of 34 types. 99 old SVU.  (I accidently erased one from May last night. Oops.) 27% clear.

Thursday I called the church in San Jose about my camera, but they hadn't seen it. I probably should have asked about the rest room and the parking lot, but didn't.

Meanwhile, my remote was really acting up. The night before I'd had to look all over for a decent set of batteries to use in it, and ended up using the spares from my purse which are supposed to be for the GPS. So of course on the morning walk, the GPS died and I had to guesstimate my mileage. I'd gone over to Mission North Park, where we had the family reunion, from a different direction and discovered they've changed a lot. There's a paved nature trail, and even a Little Free Library.

Back at home I got the rest of the cardboard out of the shed.  I scared off the squirrel, and was relieved to know it wasn't a rat living there. One piece of cardboard was the box the Japanese dolls came in! (30 years ago!)

The 2nd week since I saw the doctor, 1.2 pounds up from last week, and 9.8 miles walked.

I hadn't realized O.J. Simpson was in Lovelock! When I drove to Laramie in 2012 I did much of a power trail near there and had noticed the "don't pick up hitchhikers, prison" signs, but didn't know I would recognize one of them.

Sigh. I guess I'm doomed to lose pictures every 11 years. Last time I just deleted them BEFORE transferring them.

I got a refund for the $90 doctor visit in January. What the heck? I guess Medicare covered it after all, though I wonder if I'd ever have gotten the receipt if I hadn't mentioned it to the doctor. I think it's wonderful that Medicare will cover malaria medicine.

On Friday I finally managed a  4 mile walk. I went to Gibbons Park the long way and walked some distance on. Coming back I helped a man, another walker, right a 90-gallon trash can.  Then on my own I righted a 30-gallon one closer to home.

I'd been agonizing over the  remote. The tv told me to call the tech number so I waited till the morning. It turned out to be entirely automated and claimed the remote was fixed and if I needed anything else to use the tv... they ended up re-booting the system. That's the second time that's worked and I can do that myself, if I remember, next time.

I went down to Elk Grove and finished the volcano with Joanna. Bernadette forgot to get red food color, so we had a white eruption.  Joanna was pleased. I made Padreic unhappy by reading him "Is Your Mama a LLama?" while he wanted to do something else. Read the big kids about how the rhino got his skin.

I played Fishdom past the game developers, again. I did buy some diamonds but I'm not doing it again till I get a discount.

Saturday I took Brenda to Vina for the Blessing of the Grapes. It was a huge deal, about a thousand people there to see it, go to the market (I wound up having Vietnamese Banh Mi "tacos" (wrapped in romaine, now THERE's a healthy lunch!) and do wine tasting. Which I decided to skip, I'll just taste the wine when I open the bottles. I thought I'd be taking both to Lindy's, but one turned out to be white.

It was dreadfully hot. Without standing in line for wine tasting, we decided to come home at noon, so got back in the early afternoon. I kept missing the ability to take pictures. Even the signpost that changes seasonally. It's a sailboat now.

I got the camera I ordered. It's all wrong, and I'm  returning it. The battery is different from the ones I already have, and you have to charge it IN the camera!  For 4 hours! What good is that?? I have two charged batteries and a spare already to fit in the same size camera so I could start taking pictures right away. So I printed up the return information and have packed it all back in the same box and packaging.  And ordered a camera more like the lost one, for half the price of this one, and less than the approximately $200 the last two cameras cost.

Yes, I Know the Way to San Jose

Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol 1 p. 537
79.6 miles

369 recordings of 35 types (old SVU). 26% clear.

I forgot to mention making the volcano with Joanna last Thursday.  And later that day I took a friend's daughter to the friend's work, driving from Citrus Heights to College Greens, and then stopped to drop off a Betsy-Tacy book to a friend.

Anyway. Sunday I drove to San Jose to see Charlotte in "13." As usual, I stopped at Peggy Sue's for lunch and my parking validation.

The play was just OK but the kids did a nice job with it. Charlotte's main contribution was a loud scream.  I stuck around afterwards to see her and say hello to Monica (who I talked to before the play) and Genevieve and then I drove off to Helena's house.

She had asked to see me and was happy I came. I gave out hugs and then sat down to talk to her and then the neighbors came over with a huge orchid and plopped down to talk about the neighborhood.  And they stayed, and they stayed. Helena said "thank you so much for coming" twice, without success, but after 15 minutes she stood up to get a drink and they finally moved. Nice people, but dense.

Then she got to talk about Paul, and about the last few months, and about his death. She cried, of course, but needed to get the stories out. Mark and his sister Diane were there but in the other room so Helena could really talk. I had to leave at 5 (it's a LONG drive there and back) and wish I could have stayed longer.

Monday I went out to get a haircut. At last! I took my iPad and showed her what I wanted. The boy cut is still growing out, but at least we can now fake the haircut I want. (The boy cut was December 29, my goodness!)

James took me to lunch at La Flor Papusa.

Tuesday I went to breakfast with the ladies. Then Andy came by to take me to the State Fair, where we met up with Bernadette. It wasn't too hot, and there was a lot of sitting while the kids played, and I took a lot of pictures... sigh.

In the evening my tree guy came by to look at the mulberry. "Jesus! It's big!!" he said. It'll cost me $450, about twice what I'd hoped, but I'm sure he'll do a good job. There are branches on the roof, among other things, and in the power lines. And it LOOMS over most of the back yard.

Then Wednesday it was back to San Jose to the church. It's a nice church, Queen of Apostles, and I especially liked the frieze of St. James, Peregrino. So I *know* I had my camera during the funeral. About 100 people there, a nice funeral.  Then there was a reception in the gym, excellent food. Monica had hired the caterer and it was an Italian menu. I was really impressed with it. About 1:30 I said my goodbyes and left. On the way home I stopped at Bernadette's to help Joanna paint her volcano.

Back at the house I went to download the pictures so I could share St. James with the pilgrim group, and that's when I discovered the camera was gone. My pouch was open (what an idiot). Since I didn't stop anywhere except Bernadette's, I asked her, asked Monica, and Thursday I called the church, and I've gone through the car over and over.

I was thinking I needed to get a new camera anyway, so I ordered one. It's the pictures, since June 17. State Fair, the play last week, all the fun with Padreic, and then with the big kids. I have no idea where it could have ended up. Very sad.

I needed to change the batteries in the TV remote but it still wouldn't really communicate with the DVR.

Diego Delgado
From a friend:
My Leftist friends (as well as many ardent #NeverTrumpers) constantly ask me if I’m not bothered by Donald Trump’s lack of decorum. They ask if I don’t think his tweets are “beneath the dignity of the office.” Here’s my answer:

We Right-thinking people have tried dignity. There could not have been a man of more quiet dignity than George W. Bush as he suffered the outrageous lies and politically motivated hatreds that undermined his presidency. We tried statesmanship. Could there be another human being on this earth who so desperately prized “collegiality” as John McCain? We tried propriety – has there been a nicer human being ever than Mitt Romney? And the results were always the same.

This is because, while we were playing by the rules of dignity, collegiality and propriety, the Left has been, for the past 60 years, engaged in a knife fight where the only rules are those of Saul Alinsky and the Chicago mob.

I don’t find anything “dignified,” “collegial” or “proper” about Barack Obama’s lying about what went down on the streets of Ferguson in order to ramp up racial hatreds because racial hatreds serve the Democratic Party. I don’t see anything “dignified” in lying about the deaths of four Americans in Benghazi and imprisoning an innocent filmmaker to cover your tracks. I don’t see anything “statesman-like” in weaponizing the IRS to be used to destroy your political opponents and any dissent. Yes, Obama was “articulate” and “polished” but in no way was he in the least bit “dignified,” “collegial” or “proper.”

The Left has been engaged in a war against America since the rise of the Children of the ‘60s. To them, it has been an all-out war where nothing is held sacred and nothing is seen as beyond the pale. It has been a war they’ve fought with violence, the threat of violence, demagoguery and lies from day one – the violent take-over of the universities – till today.

The problem is that, through these years, the Left has been the only side fighting this war. While the Left has been taking a knife to anyone who stands in their way, the Right has continued to act with dignity, collegiality and propriety.

With Donald Trump, this all has come to an end. Donald Trump is America’s first wartime president in the Culture War.

During wartime, things like “dignity” and “collegiality” simply aren’t the most essential qualities one looks for in their warriors. Ulysses Grant was a drunk whose behavior in peacetime might well have seen him drummed out of the Army for conduct unbecoming. Had Abraham Lincoln applied the peacetime rules of propriety and booted Grant, the Democrats might well still be holding their slaves today. Lincoln rightly recognized that, “I cannot spare this man. He fights.”

General George Patton was a vulgar-talking, son-of-a-bitch. In peacetime, this might have seen him stripped of rank. But, had Franklin Roosevelt applied the normal rules of decorum, then Hitler and the Socialists would barely be five decades into their thousand-year Reich.

Trump is fighting. And what’s particularly delicious is that, like Patton standing over the battlefield as his tanks obliterated Rommel’s, he’s shouting, “You magnificent bastards, I read your book!” That is just the icing on the cake, but it’s wonderful to see that not only is Trump fighting, he’s defeating the Left using their own tactics.

That book is Saul Alinsky’s Rules for Radicals – a book so essential to the Liberals’ war against America that it is and was the playbook for the entire Obama administration and the subject of Hillary Clinton’s senior thesis. It is a book of such pure evil, that, just as the rest of us would dedicate our book to those we most love or those to whom we are most indebted, Alinsky dedicated his book to Lucifer.

Trump’s tweets may seem rash and unconsidered but, in reality, he is doing exactly what Alinsky suggested his followers do.

First, instead of going after “the fake media” – and they are so fake that they have literally gotten every single significant story of the past 60 years not just wrong, but diametrically opposed to the truth, from the Tet Offensive to Benghazi, to what really happened on the streets of Ferguson, Missouri – Trump isolated CNN. He made it personal. Then, just as Alinsky suggests, he employs ridicule which Alinsky described as “the most powerful weapon of all.”

Everyone gets that it’s not just CNN – in fact, in a world where Al Sharpton and Rachel Maddow, Paul Krugman and Nicholas Kristof are people of influence and whose “reporting” is in no way significantly different than CNN’s – CNN is just a piker.

Most importantly, Trump’s tweets have put CNN in an untenable and unwinnable position. With Trump’s ability to go around them, they cannot simply stand pat. They need to respond. This leaves them with only two choices.

They can either “go high” (as Hillary would disingenuously declare of herself and the fake news would disingenuously report as the truth) and begin to honestly and accurately report the news or they can double-down on their usual tactics and hope to defeat Trump with twice their usual hysteria and demagoguery.

The problem for CNN (et al.) with the former is that, if they were to start honestly reporting the news, that would be the end of the Democratic Party they serve. It is nothing but the incessant use of fake news (read: propaganda) that keeps the Left alive.
Imagine, for example, if CNN had honestly and accurately reported then-candidate Barack Obama’s close ties to foreign terrorists (Rashid Khalidi), domestic terrorists (William Ayers), the mafia (Tony Rezko) or the true evils of his spiritual mentor, Jeremiah Wright’s, church.

Imagine if they had honestly and accurately conveyed the evils of the Obama administration’s weaponizing of the IRS to be used against their political opponents or his running of guns to the Mexican cartels or the truth about the murder of Ambassador Christopher Stevens and the Obama administration’s cover-up.

This makes “going high” a non-starter for CNN. This leaves them no other option but to ratchet up the fake news, conjuring up the next “nothing burger” and devoting 24 hours a day to hysterical rants about how it’s “worse than Nixon.”

This, obviously, is what CNN has chosen to do. The problem is that, as they become more and more hysterical, they become more and more obvious. Each new effort at even faker news than before and faker “outrage” only makes that much more clear to any objective observer that Trump is and always has been right about the fake news media.

And, by causing their hysteria, Trump has forced them into numerous, highly embarrassing and discrediting mistakes. Thus, in their desperation, they have lowered their standards even further and run with articles so clearly fake that, even with the liberal (lower case “l”) libel laws protecting the media, they’ve had to wholly retract and erase their stories repeatedly.

Their flailing at Trump has even seen them cross the line into criminality, with CNN using their vast corporate fortune to hunt down a private citizen for having made fun of them in an Internet meme. This threat to “dox” – release of personal information to encourage co-ideologists to visit violence upon him and his family -- a political satirist was chilling in that it clearly wasn’t meant just for him. If it were, there would have been no reason for CNN to have made their “deal” with him public.

Instead, CNN – playing by “Chicago Rules” – was sending a message to any and all: dissent will not be tolerated.

This heavy-handed and hysterical response to a joke on the Internet has backfired on CNN, giving rise to only more righteous ridicule.
So, to my friends on the Left – and the #NeverTrumpers as well -- do I wish we lived in a time when our president could be “collegial” and “dignified” and “proper”? Of course I do. These aren’t those times. This is war. And it’s a war that the Left has been fighting without opposition for the past 50 years.

So, say anything you want about this president – I get it, he can be vulgar, he can be crude, he can be undignified at times. I don’t care. I can’t spare this man. He fights.

Wednesday Through Saturday

Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol 1 p. 537
76.2 miles

So once I heard about Paul's death, Wednesday,  I called Helena. She is understandably distraught and wants to see me on Sunday.

I finished Busman's Honeymoon. There's no novels left, just short stories,  and my book has a number I've already read.

Now reading: Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire (yeah, right); Telling the Story, OSF Actors; Pepys' Diary; American Fiction; The Aye-Aye and I, Gerald Durrell;  Embarrassments for Every Occasion, PJ Nel;  and Lord Peter by Dorothy L. Sayers.

I talked to Monica on the phone, about the family, and found out she recently had an eye operation that sounds scary. (Awake while they scrape off the cornea and then replace it. Ick.)

Thursday I lost  lots of weight ,1.8 pounds, and 12.6 miles walked this week.

Fishdom got ahead of me again, but not for long.

After my walk, I re-potted the avocados.  Then when I was taking my shower, the cold knob came off in my hand.  I got the water off and then all the stuff fell on the floor.  Fortunately, the screw didn't go down the drain. So I fixed them both (with a piece of newspaper over the drain, just in case.)  While I had the screwdriver out. I took a towel rail off the wall. Earlier I had removed the rusted metal shelf above it.

So I went to Bed, Bath and Beyond and got a wire towel shelf.

Which I built on Friday. It's smaller than I hoped, but I have to keep the outlet free for my toothbrush and the nightlight. I've rolled towels for the shelves, and also put the TP on it.

Planned Parenthood sent a pre-paid envelope for their fundraiser. More fools they.

My license stickers came but now I can't find the Renaissance pass. At least I have the registration and insurance in place.

I've been waiting until single tickets went on sale at the Mondavi theater, and now have tickets for Reduced Shakespeare for Bernadette and I, and for the Carnival of the Animals (way back from the stage, so I have no idea if the kids will be able to see it)  for the family.

The Sacramento Pilgrim's meeting was about physical therapy. Even though I don't really plan to walk a Camino again (though it's sometimes tempting, am I crazy?) I thought this would be a good idea considering what the doctor said. Interesting talk, and a free estimate with the company.

Saturday was fun. I met the kids in Fair Oaks and we went to Charlotte's Web.  The kids were invited to sit in front and Bernadette went too and held Padreic in her lap. We wondered how he would be, but she could always take him out if needed. Instead, he was engrossed. Occasionally I'd see him stand up, but only because he was really into it. In fact, he cried when it was over and we were leaving!

Then we looked at chickens (of course) and had lunch, and then split up.

Bernadette went home and cut Padreic's hair. It looks better on him than on the pictures.

Will California Ever Thrive Again? by Victor Davis Hanson.

Week 2 of July Begins

Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, vol 1 p. 537
70.2 miles

365 recordings of 33 types, 96 old SVUs. 27% clear.

Sunday I went to Church for the first time in 3 weeks. I was still coughing, and didn't go to the nursing home to help with Communion.
I finally looked at the reunion plans and Friday night there's a get-together that starts at 6.  I had thought I'd be driving from Salt Lake City, but that would make me really tired, and since I insist on trying lunch in Elko, I'll have to take 4 days going to Laramie. (I'll do three coming back.)

I watered the entire back yard again. The area where the trash pile and sand box were breaks my heart. I had nice grass there, but let it die in the drought and now it's crab grass.

I made a sloppy joe shepherd's pie, and it was delicious.

I also finished Gaudy Night, so the next day, Monday, I was reading Busman's Honeymoon and not writing my sister a nice long letter as I'd planned.

I was babysitting while Bernadette had jury duty.  I explained what that was to both the older kids, and I suspect I confused them. Padreic is still crying for little to no reason, so I made him cry a number of times. I made Joanna cry once... we were getting down the train puzzle for him, and she wanted to play with him and it and I told her after the story and then she kept insisting and I said "NOT NOW!" and drove her to tears. We had the story (How the Whale Got His Throat) and then she could play with Padreic, who had managed to get the puzzle together on his own. Joanna had her own ideas about it, making the train go and you have to add the pieces before it gets to the end of the room... and after awhile P. got bored with this and I finished the game with her.

I gave up on limiting Gareth's screen time. He did bounce on the trampoline for about 30 minutes in the morning before it got too hot. But when he went to his room after iPad time, he had the computer.

With Joanna, we played some games (Crazy 8 and the Very Hungry Caterpillar) and then she wanted to do her volcano kit. I told her it was from Grandma and she was dubious because it came in the mail.

She had been bored by the morning story about the trip that saved Curious George. Another instance of her inability to wait for whatever has crossed her mind.

I had tuna for lunch and gave the juice to the cats, as I was directed, only Nimue got it all, and Percival stayed in the studio. This concerned me, but he came out later and Rob didn't seem worried.

By the end of the day, I was dead tired. And very glad I only had to do it this one day!

The owl was calling overnight!

Tuesday morning I was up early enough to take a long walk. At one place I passed a cherry tomato plant growing wild in a cactus garden. It was on the side of a very nicely landscaped yard, and I wonder if the owners even know it was there. I picked one of the tomatoes, tsk, oh so yummy.

When I got home I changed out the litter box and emptied the vacuum. This happens in the carport, so the dust is out of the house. In the heat, it's better to do it early.

Then I went to breakfast with the ladies at Lido's. Not our regular waitress and it was pretty disorganized. At the end she just left all the checks on their trays in a pile for us to sort out for ourselves.

I went to the commissary and picked up a few things, then did my system of putting them away (lock the pets out and take it in the carport door. This is so much easier than the way we used to do it.)

Vince called and there was a lot to talk about. His tree in front died. Darn. Also, they want to have me to themselves at Crater Lake, not with Bernarob's family. This is partly my fault, because they thought I didn't pay enough attention to their kids when I was there last year. I actually thought I did, but it's true I was mostly watching Gareth.

Wednesday I learned Monica's father-in-law died and called Helena, who is distraught. (Monica had thought she'd be fine, but when the life you've had for 52 years suddenly changes, it's a true shock.)

I made my reservations for the Laramie trip. Mostly Choice Hotels, but one Best Western.
Donovan Colbert:
The rhetoric on what an out-of-touch asshole this guy is never holds up to his actual actions, especially compared to the guy he replaced.
The little people who work for Trump says he treats everyone the same, and treats them all with respect.
Actions like this
[picking up the Marine's hat] seem to confirm it.
If Trump is an asshole to you, the odds seem to be that you crossed him first - and he is just really good at it. But if you don't give him any reason to cross you, he'll treat you like an equal.

Sean Spicier (@sean_spicier):
I love how the political party that rigged their primary is acting like they wouldn't drop oppo on their mom if they thought it would help
Paul Hogue's like they don't own any mirrors.