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So many books, so little time

I had a good time today spending money. I had my annual trip to the office supply store, getting new pens and a notepad and, finally, an accordion file for my receipts, which I couldn't find last year. I get more enjoyment out of new office supplies than the average person, I suspect. (My mother did, too.)

Then I went to Barnes & Noble, and while I only bought a coin book for the National Parks commemorative quarters, finally, and a new coin price book, I looked at a lot of fiction and poetry. It inspired me to come home and sort through all the books I've acquired in the last five to seven years. This is what it looks like now that I'm done:
Mess of books
Someone doesn't have enough bookshelves. Mind, I have not read all these books. I've read pathetically few of them, in fact. I like books, but I have an iffy relationship with reading books. In fact, I created a subcollection on LibraryThing for the books I've started and not finished. Y'know, because I wasn't feeling as overwhelmed as possible by my books already. Eight of them, and they aren't bad books at all, I just ... well ... I'm not too hung up on this completion thing, as a character said in a book I read long ago.

So I've thought to myself, "I should read more books this year," which is kinda funny because I've also said I should write more music and I should go back to the gym. I should go find that box of all the extra time I know I have around here somewhere. THAT would really be helpful. I'll let you know how that search goes.


In 2017 I resolve to

1. Buy new socks.

2. No, seriously, we buy socks in big packages and then they all wear out at the same time. WTF??? I resolve to find out why.

3. To write an Amish spy thriller.
Hannah Bontrager leaves her daed's farm in Lancaster, PA on her rumschpringe and meets Luke Tober, special agent and Englischer (or so he appears), who gets her entangled in a web of intrigue involving a boppli trafficking ring in Bavaria. What will the ordnung say about all this? Will Hannah have to leave her community for good and join the CIA with Luke? And if so, will the CIA let her keep wearing her kapp?

4. To use one of the several small kitchen appliances I've received as gifts over the years but which are still in their boxes.

5. To start a business to adapt medical assistive devices for the kinky market, for example, develop a CPAP that uses a gas mask instead of the regular masks.

6. To use this handy chart next year to create resolutions:

7. To never speak of past unfulfilled resolutions again. Or these, for that matter.

More words to sweep into the garbage bin

We have reached that point in the year: Lake Superior State University has unleashed the 42nd annual List Of Banished Words into a post-truth world. As deadly as 2016 has been to both people and to hopes and dreams, it wasn't terribly kind to the English language either. "Post-truth" is in fact on the list, probably the most worthy entry in my opinion. (Don't normalize today's rhetoric by giving it a cute name!) There were a few I had never encountered before, like "831." But then I still use whole sentences when I send text messages. I would've liked to see "alt-right" on the list, because, again, don't normalize something bad by giving it a cute name. But maybe in 2017 I will nominate it for the 43rd annual list.

There are now around 850 words on the List of Banished Words, which has existed since January 1, 1976. I've used the list as my last LJ entry of a year for the last seven years, now. So click the link above to read the entire list, and find others by checking out my tag words. Then your night out ringing in the new year will be linguistically ... on fleek.


First there was this:
Fouts wants state probe over landfill, Hackel calls mayor 'my stalker' (Detroit Free Press, 15 Dec 2016) Remember my post from a few weeks ago? Apparently things aren't settled yet. In the middle of this article, there is this quote: " 'I'll deal with my stalker,' [county executive Mark] Hackel said."

Then came this:
Hackel-Fouts battle gets uglier with 'secretly recorded' tape (Detroit Free Press, 16 Dec 2016)
The long-time mayor of Warren, Jim Fouts, is now alleged to have made disparaging remarks about disabled people (as a group) in private phone calls that were surreptitiously recorded and -- surprise! -- found their way into the hands of the county executive, who released them immediately to the media. According to one of the local TV news programs (out of the three mentioned in the story), the county executive got the tapes from someone inside Warren city hall, who has not been identified.

I got home from work this evening to find on my answering machine a recorded call. It started out with the audio from one of the tapes Fouts allegedly is on, and then someone encouraged me to go to the city council meeting tonight to protest. The identity of the person or group leaving my phone message was not identified.

According to the 11:00 news story on Channel 7, it was a pretty wild night at the city council meeting.

I'll say again that I'm no fan of the mayor. But the county executive is looking mighty fishy here. It looks as if he's obviously retalliating, whether the allegations are true or not. He has no legal role in anything Mayor Fouts said if it's shown to be true that he said it -- there's nothing criminal there. So why is he involved? Mind, both Fouts and Hackel are Democrats.

There's also this: Several local officials in the county have already been indicted or chased from office because of bribes or kickbacks to local sanitation contractors. The Fouts-Hackel feud is taking place with this backdrop.


Sorry about my absence. And I don't really have much to say on my own. But I want to direct your attention to kishenehn's post this week, Making a Difference.... Another title could be "Be the change you want to see in the world." Even if the presidential election had turned out differently, so many organizations working on worthy causes are and will continue to be hamstrung by not having enough people to work on their efforts and issues. Money helps, but they need helping hands.

I'm bad at this aspect. There are so many things to work on in the world, in the country, in my home town. But I've been no help. I hate to drop a "should" on myself, but ... well, I have some thinking to do.

If you work for a company of moderate size or larger, you might want to see if they'll support your efforts with paid time off for you to work with a charity or other group.

Let the repudiation begin

"So why is HE depressed," you might ask...

Here's the biggest thing. Barack Obama is coming to the close of his presidency. He has been the most competent, intelligent, and smooth man to inhabit the Oval Office in my lifetime. There were accomplishments and seeds planted for the future, despite the best efforts of Congress. There were no scandals. (If you're thinking "What about Reagan?" I will counter "What about Iran-Contra?" No such thing with Obama.) There was worldwide respect, despite what naysayers said about alleged apologies. He put our friends at ease. There are still more of our soldiers overseas than there should be, I think, but aside from that I have no complaints.

There are a lot of people who disagree. Tens of millions of Americans, apparently. And they elected a man to the presidency who is pretty much the antithesis of Obama. Donald Trump has no respect for the dignity of women or the importance of facts or traditions. He says the first thing that pops into his head and bypasses all "quality checks" and controls. He clearly does not know enough people to staff his cabinet, because he's resorting to a cadre of rich people whose only qualification is that they're rich. He cultivates the respect of white supremacists even if he doesn't overtly encourage them.

And tens of millions of Americans think that's more OK than having an "other" in the White House.

You'll never get a better person in the White House than Barack Obama, America. And it's apparent now that you've blown the opportunity to truly become greater than you were.

I'm just surprised I don't drink twice as much as I do now.


The End of the Month

It's the last day of November, so that means this must be the last NaBloPoMo entry. I posted on 28 out of 30 days, which is the best I've done since the first one I did in 2011. I did it on relatively few political posts, which you're probably happy about. To be honest, after the 8th they probably would've been all about "did you see what that man did/said today???" and that might have gotten repetitious.

Anyway, I hope you enjoyed at least some of this stuff I've written. I liked the family history posts, myself. There were a lot of wordy posts this month. I could've saved some effort if I had a bigger backlog of YouTube videos to stick in here, maybe. ;-)

What comes next? I don't know. It's the holiday season. Everything in my life goes to pot in December. It's hard to know how much I'll write in LJ this month.

Thanks for coming along on the journey. Thanks especially to quickcasey for inspiring me undertake this madness.

Nov. 29th, 2016

This is my placeholder for today (because I only miss Wednesdays, not Tuesdays).

Addendum: Maybe I should've had my Second Life avatar write an entry this month. What do you think?
Gus at Wolves Land, May 2016

Follow-up on recent items in my LJ

Donald Trump did not reply to my tweet about him yesterday. I suppose this is not surprising. He also did not stop being inappropriately outrageous.

Follow up on my November 17th post: It turns out that some contaminated fill dirt was used at Freedom Hill County Park in Sterling Heights, the city north of Warren, in 2015 I guess. (No one was ever clear about timing, in reports I heard.) This did not lead to the major shakeup Warren's mayor seemed to be looking for. Apologies were mumbled, and feathers are still ruffled in Sterling Heights and Macomb County offices. (Metro Times' follow up coverage)

I still don't know when or where my great-grandfather died.

The new LED bulb in my porch light socket is working pretty well. I bought another one to go in a living room lamp. This one is a three-way, but it works strangely. Instead of going from 30 watts to 70 to 100, it goes from 30 to 70 back to 30. I don't get it. But 70 is plenty bright, really.

Did I miss anything?

I'm so mad I made a Tweet

As a U.S. citizen I call on @realDonaldTrump to tell truth and respect the people and Constitution of the nation. Starting now!
This is not much. I don't know what any of us could do that would have impact. OK, Jill Stein (and, finally, Hillary Clinton) did call for a recount in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. Apart from that, millions of us can only sit and gape at the incompetent circus act going on at Trump Tower in New York City. Certainly, almost none of our other elected leaders are saying anything, not even Democrats.

Today's statement by Trump's designated spokesperson that he will change his mind about not prosecuting Hillary Clinton is absolutely heinous. And so is his allegation that millions of voters voted illegally. Journalists are beside themselves. They've never had to deal with someone who so blatantly lies and proposes illegal and unconstitutional actions. They don't even know if their job is to contradict him, because it's never come up before like this. It's one thing that journalists had to dig to find the truth about, say, Watergate. It's another thing when the speaker isn't even trying to cover anything up.

I don't know, maybe if everyone floods his Twitter inbox with complaints and demands for proper behavior, he'd see it, since he seems to want to govern from his Twitter account.

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