Short takes

I don’t know why I grabbed this picture, other than it sort of illustrates “news briefs.” It also illustrates a pet peeve of mine. You see blocks of type like this all the time illustrating a word or two, but it’s a sham. The type in all those photos is backwards. Think about it: If you put ink on this block of type and then stamp a piece of paper, the image on the paper will be backwards. The type has to be set backwards in order for the printed word to read correctly. (Notice the printed page under the block of type reads backwards.) Those nifty blocks of type you see so often are set normally and photographed — then the photo is flipped horizontally:

The printed page under the type block reads correctly when the photo is flipped, but it’s in a foreign language so the switch is less noticeable.

Don’t get me wrong; I love the old type. It was still in use when I started my career. Okay. TMI. Sorry about that. Moving on …

¶ A creative writing instructor once told me that good fiction should be set against larger real world events to make it more believable. I kept thinking about that while watching “The Good Fight” and wishing there was less real world in it. I watch for entertainment and escape, not drama throwing today’s real world problems and people in my face. In less stressful times it might be a good approach, but not these days. I don’t want to hear about T**** or the Supreme Court or rioting in the streets when I’m looking for entertainment. (I can’t help it. I prefer dramas to comedies.)

¶ Pres. Biden was too casual by a mile when he tossed out the phrase “nuclear Armageddon.” My son has expressed deep concern about the situation in Ukraine, and Biden’s unscripted remark really unnerved him. I tried to explain why the Cuban missile crisis had been a much greater concern, but it fell on deaf ears. He hadn’t even been born yet.

¶ I’d almost bet money on there being an average of one new prescription drug per week being advertised on tv. And they all have weird (computer-generated?) names in order not to duplicate any existing names. I guess they’ve begun running out of X and Y names; Q seems to be popular now. (Aha! I just did a quick search, and one source said an average of 51 new drugs are introduced every year.) But don’t get me started on DTC (direct to consumer) advertising of prescription drugs. The law permitting it should never have gotten through Congress (aka Big Pharma toadies).

¶ I don’t know who blew up/heavily damaged the Kerch Strait Bridge between Russia and Crimea, but kudos to them! Hope they can go back and finish it.

¶ Remember back when somebody said Hurricane Katrina was God’s punishment for gays? I keep thinking Hurricane Ian was God’s punishment for DeSantis flying Venezuelan immigrants to Martha’s Vineyard.

¶ Knowing Florida’s susceptibility to hurricanes, I can’t imagine why anyone would move there (given the heat, sand, bugs, reptiles, swamps, etc.). I understand even less why, if residents are told a hurricane is coming, they all don’t evacuate immediately. If I didn’t have the means to escape, I wouldn’t be living there in the first place. (Full disclosure: I am a retiree who opted for Colorado.)

¶ Snowbirds are people living in cold climates who travel to Florida or Arizona for the winter. Who wants to move twice in one year?? I’ll stay with the cold weather every time, thank you very much.

¶ That video of a train smashing into a police car with a handcuffed prisoner inside … It happened just a few miles up the road from here. (Miraculously, the prisoner wasn’t killed.) Still haven’t heard why in heaven’s name the officer parked her car on the tracks (the officer wasn’t officially identified but her body cam on the video showed some arm tattoos that someone recognized). I know it’s customary for police to park directly behind a car they’ve pulled over, but NOT on railroad tracks! Think, people! That’s what brains are for.

¶ Herschel Walker. I know the name because he was a great football player. I wish I could have continued to remember him that way instead of what he is now, a pathetic Republican candidate for the US Senate seat in Georgia.

¶ Rocky Mountain National Park has ended its onerous (to me) timed-entry reservation system for the season. The elk are still getting frisky up there, and there’s still some color in the foliage, so the rangers will probably have to deal with even worse crowds for a while longer. The reservation system is still being called a “pilot” program, but I don’t believe for a minute that it’s ever going to go away. It’s the new normal, the “normal” that keeps locals from enjoying the park the way they always have and did … until the “pilot” program was begun. (Yes, I’m being selfish. I’ll own that.)

¶ I have a big knot in the pit of my stomach that’s being caused by the rapidly approaching election. I’d hoped voting T**** out would improve things. But then came Jan. 6. And the continued fracturing of the American public. Ever-growing schisms. Tribalism. Extreme partisanship with radicals at both ends of the political spectrum. The destruction of Roe protections for women. The distinct possibility that Republicans will retake control of Congress. The likelihood that T**** will run for president again in 2024 and the possibility that he might … gulp … win.

¶ You’ve read about all the place names that are being changed because they offend someone — called historical accuracy or rewriting history, depending on the individual. Next on the list here in Colorado is Mt. Evans, “Denver’s mountain,” the tallest peak (14,265 ft) overlooking Denver. It seems that Mr. ?¿???/.…Evans was governor of the state at the time of the Sand Creek massacre. Among the suggestions for a new name, “Mt. Blue Sky” seems to be the most popular. At least it’s not an unpronounceable Native American name, like some in the state. My guess is the new name is likely going to be “Mt.-Blue-Sky-formerly-Mt.-Evans.”

¶ For voting purposes, my Congressional district keeps getting changed. With this coming election, I will be in the newly created 8th District. Oh joy. Until now my district has always been heavily Democratic, represented by a Democrat, but the newly drawn district is equally divided. The campaigns have been hot and heavy, and I could end up with a Republican representative. (Did I mention my apprehension about the election?)

¶ Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson as the star of Black Adam. Hmm. I’ve always liked him, but as a superhero? I don’t know about that. I’m not convinced by the previews. Oops, that’s “trailers” now. I don’t know when or why the change came about. Shouldn’t “previews” come before and “trailers” come after? Go figure.

¶ I almost forgot to mention how fervently I wished Hurricane Ian would wipe out Mar-a-Lago. I’m not proud of it, but I was certainly thinking about it.

(Pop quiz: Did you catch the spot where my cat walked across the keyboard?)

10 thoughts on “Short takes

  1. America is fractured. There’s nothing you can do about it, Susan. But if T**** isn’t jailed and in spite of being twice impeached and gets to stand again and win .. you might as well get out. Because your life will be intolerable.
    Let us pray (were we believers in a god) that the US legal system can prevail and right can win.

    1. Well, if Michael Moore finds any reason to be hopeful, I suppose I should be too. I’m a natural-born worrier, and the election has me working overtime.

      I think all good cats think keyboards were invented just for them.

  2. I have mixed feelings about Rocky Mountain National Park’s timed entry permit system. On one hand, I’m frustrated when I can’t go to the park anytime I want–and I have a cabin just a few miles away. On the other hand, the system limits the number of people in the park at any given time, so it’s not overrun, and the wildlife should, in theory, not have to deal with the huge crowds.

    1. I have the same mixed feelings. I want the park protected … as long as I can go in any time. (What, me? Selfish?) That was part of my moving up here … to be near and in the mountains, and the park in particular. I’m sure if I lived even closer, I’d be even more frustrated. The Brainard Lake area was my backup go-to, and then they slapped it with the same reservation system. But I don’t get into the mountains much anymore, so I really can’t complain.

  3. “May you live in exciting times,” goes the ancient Chinese curse. We’ve got that in spades, don’t we? But it’s not altogether a curse, is it? Think of science, technology, the JWST, astronomy, quantum physics, anthropology, digital communication, entertainment, blogging even! Complain though I may, I can’t seem to get enough of it all. It’s like the title of the old Clint Eastwood movie, “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly.”

    1. You’re right, of course, and I needed to be reminded. The advances of science and technology have been and continue to be exciting, even breathtaking, and I’m loving it (well, maybe not the blogging changes). But our sociopolitical environment seems to me to be worsening by the day and along with it, my anxiety.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *