The Wire

The Google news feed starts with Texas. 30,000 people displaced. 40 inches of rain. Louisiana in Harvey’s sites. Flooding possible in the Pelican state and parts of Mississippi. “The worst is yet to come,” some officials say.

Houston has been greatly affected by very rare flooding now for three years in a row. The chances of this type of flooding in any given year in Houston are .2 of 1%. 1 in 500. Three years in a row. Pray for Houston, indeed.

The next item in my news feed, this morning, is a rocket over Hokkaido. Kim Jong Un is at it again, and he’s not afraid to provoke the international community, especially the United States. Firing a ballistic missile over Japan is another provocation akin to the threatening of Guam. It’s chest-beating on a global scale. It’s a test. Hawks will call for war. Doves will call for talks. The only correct answer, for now, is to continue to stare him down.

Next comes Littlefinger. In case you’re running severely behind on the season finale of what is arguably the best show in television history, I won’t reveal the tell. Suffice to say that it was one of the greatest moments in one of the greatest episodes on one of the greatest shows of all time. Go team.

After another Houston story (“Cajun Navy brings boats from Louisiana to help flood-ravaged Houston”), a quick rundown of the Arpaio pardoning. It was neither unexpected nor unprecedented. But the precedent has not been a good one for presidents who have acted similarly in the past. The argument that “others have done it” does not excuse it. It’s just one more bullet in the gun Donald Trump always has aimed at his own foot. -20% approval and falling. He’s on his way to Texas to find a lifeboat now.

While I was writing the newsfeed changed. Texas and North Korea are still the top two feeds, but the third is a story on the forthcoming budget battle. Houston complicates things. A relief package will now push the wall south. On the agenda, I mean. The president has said he’ll veto any bill that does not pay for a border wall, but can he veto a bill that includes aid for Texas? Maybe. Stupid seems to be his middle political name, and that seems to work well with his base. The correct answer for his opposition is to continue to stare him down, as well.

Over at Reuters the top stories are Texas, Korea, the markets and Iran. AP news is almost all Harvey, with a little Korea, Russian war games, and child marriage in the South Sudan sprinkled in.

It’s Tuesday. I got up early. I read the news.

Lately, I don’t. I wait until later in the day when I’ve already had my coffee, already walked my dogs, gotten a shower, a shave, a spring in my step. I try to write instead, dig deep down inside for something good to pen on paper (figuratively speaking). But today I let the news come first.

The news was about Harvey. About Kim. Littlefinger. Donald Trump.

Every story needs a villain, I suppose. Today, it was nothing but.

Out of Sync

I don’t know if it’s complacency or exhaustion, but suddenly I’m hearing the alarm.

Let’s put that into perspective.

I’m not much of a sleeper. Not in the mornings. I generally wind down these days around 9 pm, and shut my eyes for the final time each day between 9:30 and 10:00. In the interim, of course, I take the dogs out one last time, take my eyes out of my head (I wear contacts), change into the most comfortable pair of old shorts I own, and lay down to read a book. The variance in time, at that point, is how long it takes that book to go from “can’t put down” to “falling on my face because I’m dozing.”

Seriously, I’ve bruised my nose before from this.

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Birthdays, Ballers, and Blackouts

Last night we celebrated a good friend’s 50th birthday, in the Blue Oak Room at Bridge Bay Resort. We packed the place. Live music by the Hill Street Band, open bar, dancing, and endless echoes of laughter. I’ve had a few friends hit that magic number recently and a few more still to come. Including me. In 313 days I’ll be 50 years old.

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Stan Lee Said It Best

In 1968, I was 0. Stan Lee was at the top of his game and the civil rights movement was in full swing. We had a culture war. We had a war for equality being fought, right here on our home turf, 100 years after the end of the Civil War.

Stan Lee didn’t like what he saw, so he wrote about it in his soapbox. The Soapbox was basically a short column he included every month in the comics that came out that month from Marvel. It could be about anything. This particular month, in this particular year, it was about racism.

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Dream Control

I had a little trouble sleeping the week before last. Off and on throughout my years on the planet I’ve faced the same. We all do. You wake up, use the facilities or grab a cup of water, let the dog out or something, then come back to bed ready for another 3 hours of sleep. Only you don’t sleep. You think, instead.

Over the years I’ve tried many things to stave off this condition. Meditation. Counting stars (sheep are boring). A mid-morning shot of Nyquil. I don’t recommend that last one, but somebody had to try, right? Some methods work, some methods don’t. Mostly, they don’t.

This particular night I remembered something I had done years ago, and it worked. I’ll see if I can describe it, before I tell you what happened next.

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Saving the World (Once I Find the Time)

I have two wildly competing ideas on my mind that I hope to cover together, without sounding completely discombobulated. To be coherent I should break them away from each other and write two entries. I might. Let’s see how this goes.

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Accidents Happen

I had a scary moment yesterday.

As I was leaving work, I was heading up Wyndham Lane towards Market Street, taking the back avenue towards home, as I always do. Some years ago I started going around the block to the street light on the corner to make my left turn. It simply seemed a safer route to go. It was not this day.

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The Secret

I was sitting next to a highly respected fellow in the community this Sunday, in fact a nationally known speaker, and was talking to him about my recent re-nuptials. He’s an amazing guy with an equally (or, perhaps, surpassingly) amazing wife. They stop by every week after church to have breakfast and a morning cocktail at the place my friends and I also call church. We had befriended them a couple of years ago, and they love to come in and give us heck. In fact, this week his deacon pulled him aside before real church to inform him that the homily would be short that week, so he would be early to his other church. Even the deacon is in on the joke.

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