Kat bought a new laptop, and does she hate Windows 8.1! You and I do too, but the good news is, she’s already installed Microsoft’s upgrade to Win 10. The better news is, Win 10 works well, is visually appealing and somewhat intuitive. I’m saving some of her photos from the past two years, and to select them, I’m looking at every one. During this work season I’m going to write again about some of the places we went in 2014, show those pictures and write through the filter of memory. No old posts will be re-read.
In the spring of 2014 we boondocked a few days on what a decade earlier was the floor of Lake Mead. Las Vegas and California have guzzled its fluids at an unsustainable rate given normal weather. But the watershed’s rain and snow have not been normal; a ten year drought has dropped Mead’s surface by about 120 feet since Y2K. Today I read that the lake has reached a new low, one unequalled since the 1930’s just after Hoover Dam’s completion. Mead was then rising and in the long process of accumulating the 9.3 trillion gallons it would eventually contain.
El Nino offers hope for a winter respite. He’s widely expected by meteorologists, and if the winds blow the child to the right places, Lake Mead’s watershed will get some help. No one expects it to be nearly enough, but a snowy winter could mark the beginning of the end of the drought. If that doesn’t happen we may see Californians moving to Florida for golf and poolside gin and tonics with plenty of real ice.
Long ago an excellent movie titled Network powered by a timely script and an all-star cast, won a bunch of Oscars. That year was 1977. Crime was bad, inflation was through the roof, OPEC was strangling the world with predatory pricing, and gas lines were not yet a distant memory. Our leaders did things like try wage and price controls, cut speed limits to 55 mph, and our black eye from Viet Nam was still puffed and purplish. This movie is available from Netflix. You should see it, especially if you’re a fan of Donald Trump.
I have struggled to understand Trump’s appeal. I see no evidence on his campaign website of any real plan to govern, nor even one new idea. This morning a rationale for his poll ratings came to me in a flashback to the climactic scene of Network. Howard Beale, an aging night-time network anchor about to lose his job concluded his show with a spluttering rant. It began with a recitation of all our unsolved problems and how little had been done about them. It ended with this call to action: “I want you to get up, right now, go stick your head out a window and yell: I’m mad as hell, and I’m not going to take this anymore! “
Which, near as I can tell, is The Donald’s platform. Like my grandma used to say “There’s nothing new under the sun.”