For The People

June 29, 2021

Felt good to be vaccinated, among vaccinated fellow activists, rallying at a federal building, advocating for the people.

Literally for the people: We were showing up to Senator Padilla’s office in Sacramento in support of the For the People Act — S1 in the Senate and HR-1 in the House.

Those recalcitrant republicans in the Senate, led by politics-before-democracy asshole Mitch McConnell, filibustered the bill before it could even be debated. Not even debated. Which I’ve already ranted about.

It was nice to be out on a lovely morning, in the State’s capital, blissfully among like-minded patriots, humanitarians and democracy lovers. And while it was fun, it also felt urgent: time’s running out on this one and I can’t see enough pressure applied to enough Senators to pull this thing out of the trash heap. We’ll see.

Some pics, some mine, some Sue’s (the good ones):

I’m not sure this is everybody.. about 50 folks here, from Indivisible Yolo, Sac and Colusa (but I think there were more like 100).

Some of the Davis folks. Another dozen of our peeps, at least, showed up.

This is a Sac Indivisible person (Harue) introducing Senator Padilla’s Sac field office staffer (Roberto):

Some signs get right to the point:

Our Steve was among those who made comments:

We did a little bit of this, when not listening to speeches:

I’m kind of excited because I’m going to a political rally tomorrow. In person. With signs. Among the throngs. I’ll write about it tomorrow, but tonight I made my sign….

It was fun (even though this is serious business!).

Fatty and Skinny

June 26, 2021

I knew that Fatty and Skinny were a series of old timey rhymey things… couldn’t remember any, so looked it up (what’d we ever do without the googles?), and found this:

Fatty and Skinny went to bed.
Fatty rolled over and Skinny was dead.

Right? Coming back?

Well… that’s what I was reminded of when I harvested today’s garden veggies.

I couldn’t find any follows up to this (nor did I look very hard) … but I seem to remember at least one of them went something like this:

Mommy called the doctor and the doctor said,

One more cookie and we’ll all be dead.

I may have morphed together two completely different nursery rhymes… but there it is. Best my memory can muster.

How ’bout that zuc, though! And the tomatoes are insanely sweet. Going to be a fantastic summer.

Fence’s Done

June 25, 2021

I like our new fence. When I am looking back on my blog decades from now, I wonder if I’ll think, “Wow, look how spiffy and clean and new our front yard fence looked back then!”

Ruben suggested the copper tubing, which I think looks great and ties it into the copper tubing on the screen in front. The spacing — 1 1/2 inch boards, intersperced with 5″ boards — was my idea, fashioned after a fence I spotted on Villanova one day. Ruben was game.

The spaces are large enough that the objects on the opposite side provide all kinds of texture and variation. I think it’s simple, yet interesting and arty, and solid. Handsome, really.

Jim and I have joined the patio dining crowd. This could get habit forming.

Looks like Jim got caught with his hand in the parmesan jar.

Voting Rights Wronged

June 22, 2021

Today, the For the People Act was finally introduced on the Senate floor. For months HR-1 and S-1 have been a huge focus for anyone interested in fairness and transparency in voting. Locally, through Indivisible Yolo, a whole bunch of us have been making endless calls to our members of congress to make sure the bills had their support (they did).

This is a sweeping and comprehensive bill that addresses all that ails voting in America. It improves and simplifies voter registration; it makes it easier and more efficient to vote in numerous ways; it addresses key issues of campaign finance and dark money; standardizes the redistricting process and creates independent, non-partisan redistricting commissions in all states… and more. Its provisions replaced all the foul bills getting passed in red states all over the country, which is essential because those are largely, flat-out voter suppression bills. It should have breezed through in non-partisan fashion because it was about protecting our democracy.

But, of course, republicans did not see it that way, and, of course, it didn’t breeze through. It went less than nowhere. As expected, Senate republicans filibustered before the bill could even be brought to floor debate.

Borrowing this summary from Crooked Media:

Here’s a bird’s-eye view of what just happened: The 50 Democratic senators who support some iteration of the For The People Act represent 43 million more Americans than the 50 GOP senators who oppose it, so naturally just 41 Republicans (who represent a mere 21 percent of the country) were needed to block any consideration of the very bill meant to correct that antidemocratic imbalance, which 68 percent of the country supports. Another functional day for the world’s greatest deliberative body.

I mean, right? It’s just sickening.

Here’s another great summary of what happened:

You know who said that? Martin Luther King on July 5, 1963… a half century ago. Is that crazy?

It honestly makes me hyperventilate. The injustice of politics is wearing me down.. it’s making me cynical and pessimistic and angry all the time. It’s stunning to me that fairness can not prevail in this country; it’s stunning how the public good is lost, how politicians (let’s be honest, mostly the republican ones) seek only to gain or hold onto power, or their own seats. Corrupt and evil to the core. I have no idea why they even choose public service; their motivations have nothing to do with that.

Our democracy is hanging on by a thread.

Ranting tonight over dinner, I was honest when I said I’d like Peter to move to Norway. His quality of life would be better there. It’s too late for Jim and me to pull up stakes and leave our lives, our home, our communities. But it’s not too late for Peter. He can raise a family in another country that cares about its people. He and his family will be better off.

I am growing to hate our country, hate the division, hate the dysfunction, hate the way our elected officials cannot even work for the good of the people anymore. I can’t live with the fact a majority of the people (the majority are democrats and independents) want one thing and the politicians manipulate the system at complete cross purposes. Politicians act in their own best interests, to hold power, to stay in the good graces of their donors, at the expense of the public’s interest. Period. A majority of the country (not all, I realize, but a measurable majority) wants voting to be fair; a majority wants sane gun laws; a majority thinks it’s none of the government’s business what a person does with their own body; a majority is freaking out about climate change. The majority’s will is ignored and undermined on all of this because legislative control is in the hands of a cheating, corrupt minority. And I don’t see a way out as long as they continue to cheat to hold onto power. They do not care about democracy.

There are plenty of corrupt democrats in congress, too. but far fewer. I truly believe democratic DNA is different than republican DNA. I deeply believe democrats work for the people, believe in and work for the common good. That is the core of democratic values. And republicans stand for self, their personal freedom, their wealth, their station, their dominance. I just can’t stand the mindset. But I particularly can’t stand that they don’t play fair. And that their cheating and political and strategic machinations are all about gaining power for personal advantage, not the for country’s, not for the greater good.

Jim and I can live in our progressive bubble surrounded by educated, civil, compassionate like-minded people. I can minimize the amount of news I consume so that I do not go stark raving mad. I can do my part to try and effect better outcomes, because it’s the right thing to do and we all have a responsibility to contribute, but not expect those better outcomes. AND hope our son gets the hell out of dodge because this is only going to get worse.

‘Bout Time

June 19, 2021

People have been celebrating the emancipation of enslaved African Americans since June 19, 1865.. well, some have, anyway. And now, as of a couple of days ago, June 19th is officially, finally, appropriately and forever a new federal holiday. And now everybody can not only celebrate the end of slavery, but we can begin to work from a shared set of facts about our history of slavery in this country and try to understand its impacts, still, today.

Thanks President Biden!

Our president just keeps racking up good moves. He is doing right by the American people–restoring truth, compassion, dignity and honor to our country. It is surprisingly relieving. It feels like stress is just melting away with every passing day.

Not everyone feels the way I do.. which I always find so baffling and disappointing. I’ll never understand people.

To wit:

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Trevor Noah’s tweet has to do with the states that are up in arms about the idea of teaching critical race theory in schools. I don’t understand what people are afraid of, why they can’t accept that slavery–a monumentally significant part of our history–has shaped so much of our culture and continues to define and affect the views and behaviors of so many today. Who would dispute it? What is the threat in shining a light on that?

The establishment of Juneteenth as a national holiday is one of many important steps toward honoring truth and respecting the dignity of all Americans.

What Goes Up..

June 18, 2021

Our funny son.

So, this afternoon, I’m wandering through the Crocker Art Museum in Sacramento, deeply immersed in art, and I get a text. It’s from Peter and includes this picture, without explanation….

We exchange the briefest of texts…

So… best I can figure: Peter’s in his office on campus. Alone. Maybe he’s bored. His mind gets to wandering. Wonders if he could jump straight up and touch his head to the ceiling. Thinks, “Yeah, I could do that.” Sets up iPhone to video. Walks around to front of desk and jumps for all he’s worth. Bonks head on ceiling. Captures entire event on video. Isolates the head-touching instant in a single frame. Proud, sends photo to mom.

It’s interesting to me to see his office (shares with numerous other students). So unfancy. I love the chalkboard with graphs, charts and calculations on it. And a cat. Also noticing the string of Chinese characters and wonder what that says…

I’m happy he’s finally, after nearly a year, able to be in his office, able to meet and work with his group. I’m amused he’s finding such worthwhile things to do to pass the time.

It was ever thus.

[hashtag: onehundredpercentPeter]

A cafe au lait and chocolate cake, homemade both.

I know, I know… another post about patio furniture. But… patio furniture! Do you realize, in all our years in this house, we’ve never sat outside to eat on patio furniture (a time or two we hauled our table outside to the porch, but that doesn’t count). In fact, in all my years in Davis, I’ve actually never lived in a house that had patio furniture (at least I can’t think of one). It’s sort of a homeowner’s staple, a place to have one’s morning coffee on a warm summer morning, or a place to eat a BBQ’d dinner with friends… and that’s just never been part of my experience. Weird, huh?


I feel like I’ve opened a whole new chapter of backyard living. A garden, a beautiful hammock, a second story observation deck, a shaded deck with two rocking chairs [soon] …. and now, today, a table on a patio, under an umbrella… with wifi, no less.

Dining Out

June 16, 2021

There is so much to write about. Have you noticed I haven’t really written in a long time… I’ve just been posting quick pics with limited commentary for weeks now (mostly). No political ranting. No pandemic blues.

I should write about California opening up on June 15. Sorta, anyway. That is enormously newsworthy.. very milestony after fifteen months of pandemic life.

I personally feel on the cusp of a life inflection point… for reasons having to do with the above, and so many other things. Been thinking so much about that, too.

But, it’s late and I’m pooped.

So, instead of the big stuff… I’m going small ball again for today’s post.


We ate outside tonight, sitting at our new table, on our new patio, in our new backyard. Vicki and Mark were our guests, as Vicki and Mark sorta made this final piece happen, what with Mark being an outdoor furniture expert and Vicki playing matchmaker on the sales deal.

Mark brought the missing piece of the umbrella to our house this evening (forgotten by the delivery guys yesterday). And, drumroll, here’s the completed look..

It fills the space quite nicely, no? What you can’t see in this picture is the work I did this morning to clear away the last vestiges of remodel messy mess. Hard to appreciate, but this backyard is clean and tidy! Not quite done (wood screens, arbors, a sail shade, planters, another round of deck stain and a few more chairs and tables to be located here and there), but… what’s here is done and gorgeous!

And here we are, actually eating outside on a night when the temps (at 7:30pm) were still in the mid-90s. Ouch.

After about 30-45 minutes of sauna like air, we moved inside to finish dinner (the dessert part). But that was sufficient time to christen the table. First meal: grilled swordfish, grilled asparagus, brown basmati, a salad that Vicki made and ice cold chardonnay.