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Archive for June, 2011

There have been a flurry of emails over the past few days between us and some dear friends who were evacuated last Wednesday due to the Monument fire in southern Arizona. When it jumped the highway late yesterday and destroyed a couple of restaurants only a mile from their home, we feared the worst. All day today we’ve been following the news in the local Sierra Vista newspaper, pouring over maps and especially Google Earth as affected street names were released. We’re breathing a bit easier tonight. Available information, not yet official, indicates that the fire stopped directly across the street from their home, turning north to run up a wash. Unfortunately, additional homes were damaged or destroyed, and our friends may well be facing smoke damage. At a minimum, the house will smell of smoke, but our friends and their menagerie of dogs and horses have found shelter with friends while they wait and worry. Needless to say, we’ll breath easier when we have the official word.

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So, Tim Pawlenty thinks that President Obama is engaging in class warfare. Has he lost his mind? If there has been class warfare in this country, it’s the result of a generation of GOP policies of tax breaks for the uber-rich while wages have remained stagnant at best for the rest of us. The Republicans talk of Ronald Reagan as if he were a saint but they conveniently forget that Reagan’s tax rates were significantly higher than they are now. In fact, they’re so blinded by their admiration of him, that the GOP budget negotiators rolled their eyes in disbelief when the president pointed that fact out to them the other day. Perhaps that really sums up the nature of the problem. Republicans in Washington want to rely on their own set of “facts.” But facts are stubborn things. They don’t change just because they don’t fit your ideology.

And the really sad thing about Pawlenty’s comment is that the Fox-infused Republican base will lap it up as surely as they do the Gospel.

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I’m Back

I said I would be on hiatus for the month of May. Well, I’m back. First a quick update on my post-surgery progress. In a word, I’m doing great. As I told the surgeon when I saw him this week, I’m probably 90-95% back to where I was before this whole thing started. So I’m very pleased. Still have a couple months of rehab, but functionally, the shoulder does almost everything I ask of it.

Spouse retired the end of April, and we spent most of May on the road. We spent five days in the Napa area, wine-tasting. YUM! Good wine, great meals. No wonder it’s a favorite destination! My favorite varietal is petit syrah. Vintner Carl Doumani is legendary for his petit syrah. He has a small winery called Quixote. Tours and tastings are by appointment only. We learned about Quixote when we visited Paraduxx. We are eagerly awaiting our shipment.

After a few days at home, we went to spouse’s 45th college reunion at Caltech, followed by the annual Seminar Day, where participants go back to class for a day. From there it was off to Arizona to visit family and friends. We spent a couple days in Sedona, marveling at the red rocks. It’s a photograph’s dream. We wrapped up that part of the trip with an off-road jeep adventure. Serious fun!

It’s always good to reconnect with good friends. And as we enter another political silly season, it’s good to remember and reflect on what is truly important…the people in our lives.

One more plug. If you ever have the opportunity to go to the Body Worlds exhibit, I can’t recommend it highly enough. It’s fabulous!

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