Sunday, December 9, 2018

The Fifth Risk by Michael Lewis

If you want to be scared to death you should read Michael Lewis's book "The Fifth Risk". This one is more frightening than any Stephen King horror book. Why? Because this book is true. It is real. It is current, and the actions being done are probably going to kill us.

Michael Lewis is the author of "Moneyball", "The Blind Side", and "The Big Short". He is a writer who does his homework. He does an incredible amount of research, interviews, and analysis to then convey a narrative the rest of us can understand and appreciate.

In his new book, "The Fifth Risk" the focus is on America's government agencies and what they do. Government, as you know, is the structure and foundation for how our society works and operates. It is the government, which is a representative of us, that creates and rules and directs the flow of where our pooled money, resources, and attention goes. Government is creates the narrative and expectations of how we all work together.

In "The Fifth Risk", the author tells us a story of each of the different federal government agencies - what their purpose is, what they are mandated to do and provide to the public and why. He then shares the personal stories of those he interviewed who work at those different agencies. You can feel their love, sacrifice, and passion for their work. They often consider their work as a service for the good of the entire country; kind of like a calling. 

The author then shares what changed when Trump became President. This was not the usual changing of the guard based on all over new Presidents; the new mantra was more like " search and destroy" rather than "protect and serve". The focus now is on how each agency can be used to help someone make a buck by eliminating safeguards, rules, and barriers that used to protect and serve the public interest.

This book should be mandatory reading for any American who can still read. Ya know, before reading is seen as no longer needed and gets removed from the education system. 

Saturday, December 8, 2018

A New Discovery at the Hotel

Ya know how many hotels have minibars available in the room to enhance or deaden your travel experience? At a recent stay at a rather lovely, upper crust hotel, we scouted out the room amenities to see what was available in the minibar, the fridge, and the goodies tray. There was a bottle of water for $9, some Kettle chips, wine, coffee packs, chocolate....

Oh, and what is this? What is that round tin in the middle of the tray??
Why, it is a LOVER'S KIT!
A what?

The kid includes an erotic vibrating ring, a vibrator, a couple of condoms, along with some PERSONAL lubricant.

Those darn millennials think of everything, don't they?
And just for $25 bucks.

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Nine Perfect Strangers by Liane Mariarty

I could so relate to this book. The story is centered at a health spa focused on helping a person change and transform their body, mind, and spirit using the normal tools of the trade - ya know, like meditation, exercise, change of diet. Each character is at the resort to clear away some specific baggage accumulated from their life journey, like being overweight, or having a broken heart, a rocky marriage, or swimming in grief. But then the twists and turns begin and things go in a new and different direction.

This is a fun and entertaining book. By the end, it was as if I had been riding a roller coaster and as it approached the end of the track, my hair was a mess, my mascara all smudged, but I had one of those silly grins on my face saying I enjoyed the ride.

Saturday, December 1, 2018

Dinner Chatter

A strange thing happened at dinner.
The 3 year old grandkid looked over at me while she ate her fruit, then asked, "Gramz, how was your day today? What did you do?"

She seems to know that dinner time is when each person reports on what happened during the day and wanted to make sure I reported my news and events. For a moment, it was as if she was an adult in that tiny little body, being the gracious host in her domain.

Trump and Russia - 3 Part Series from Australia

In the USA, much of the news about Trump and Russia has been whitewashed. But outside the USA, there is a broader and more objective perspective on what is going on. This is a 3-part series from Australia on Trump and Russia - a good review of what happened up to the point when Manafort first goes to jail.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

When You Turn 65, You Now Get the Good Stuff

When you turn 65, you become kind of like a rock star in some venues. Like at the doctors office. At 65 you qualify for a lot of new programs, treatments, and meds just because you reached this milestone of and are still alive.

At the doctors office, the medical assistant told me, "You now qualify for the SUPER DUPER flu vaccine - the strain that is 3 times stronger than the regular stuff. Do I want it?"

"YES,"I said. "Load me up!" So she did.

She then checked the computer to see if there were other vaccines that I needed. "You also qualify for the PCV13 vaccine, too. This one prevents pneumonia. Do you want to prevent pneumonia this year?" she asked.

"Yes" I replied. So another drug was loaded into a syringe she shot it into my other arm.

My body was now preparing itself to annihilate any wandering infection and trespasser should they stumble into my body, I began to fantasize how my body was becoming weaponized and it could search and destroy instantly, any unwanted germ. But then up popped a new thought and this one was about my younger days when mom would take us out for ice cream following a doctor visit, if we did not cry. I reflected on the fact I had TWO shots today and didn't cry with either shot - something my mom and dad would be proud of. I then realized THIS accomplishment would qualify for a DOUBLE DECKER! With that final thought, I headed off to Baskin and Robbins to reward myself for being so brave. At 65.

Some things NEVER get old, even if you do.

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Health vs Attempted Murder?

I was at a restaurant with some friends and they kept on telling the waiter to bring me a salad - one with lots of ROMAINE. Were my buddies trying to support my efforts to eat healthy? Or did they want to test my ability to fight certain death by consuming eColi infested lettuce? This made me look at my comrades a bit differently while I crunched away on my green leafy salad.

Sunday, November 25, 2018

My New Romance

I have a new love in my life.
It's the stars.
I am getting better acquainted with this new interest with the help of an on-line app I use every night called "Sky Guide".
Each night I take out my iPhone, aim it at the sky, as it reports back the names of the stars and constellations currently hanging around me.
I do this before bed.
When I have to get up and pee in the middle of the night.
In the morning, right before I meditate.
I find comfort in the steady rhythm and movement of the sky as it changes ever-so-slightly at different times, months, and seasons.
It is so subtle, and often ignored.
But taking a moment to feel a part of this slow dance of life fills me with awe and wonder.
It centers me a bit and helps me feel that no matter what is going on in the world, there is a steadiness and methodical rhythm to life.
And it is free to just flow.
And be.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Leftovers from Turkey Day

You know how you count on having yummy leftovers at the end of Turkey Day so you never have to cook again?  It seems I can't get that rule to work. We currently have leftover KALE. Plenty of kale.

Monday, November 19, 2018

And so the Bathroom Humor Begins

While I was preparing dinner, my 5 yo grandson came into the kitchen to ask me a serious question.
"Gramz, do you like to eat poop?"
"What?" I replied. Surely I heard this wrong. I didn't respond at first because I thought he was commenting on my cooking. He then repeated the question.
"Do you like to eat poop?"
"No" I said, and he burst into laughter as he walked out of the room.
A few seconds later he returned with another question.
"Do you like to drink pee pee?" he asked.
I turned to look at him and he now had a full facial grin on display. I could tell he thought this was the funniest question he had ever had.
"No" I said, and he snorkeled and burst into a full belly laugh while he turned and teetered out the door, almost falling from this new found fun. 
A few moments later he again returned to the kitchen, but this time with an even bigger smile than before. He even seemed to have a new twinkle in his eye, as if this time I should prepare for an even bigger surprise. 
"What's your favorite booger?" he asked, as he chortled with even greater delight with this new depth of inquiry. 
This question made me stop and pause. This needed a more thoughtful response. After a few seconds I replied "Elephant boogers!"
He burst into a huge hearty laugh, now falling to the floor. He was absolutely filled with glee as if he had shared a hidden gem he had uncovered with his new schoolmates. The kiddo had discovered bathroom humor!
A new stage of life with this munchkin has officially begun. Body excretions will never be the same from here on out.