Archive for the ‘gas prices’ Category

Letter From Claverack 08 29 2017 Praying for Houston…

August 29, 2017

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There are days we take to catch up and today was one of them for me.  Once it had warmed enough [and yes, we are reaching that part of the year], I went out to the deck and set up shop, sipping my morning coffee while Amazon’s “Sarah Vaughn Station” played [and plays] in the background.

A backlog of work got done today; some of it in preparation for “Prison Alley Tales” which will broadcast live from the Red Dot Restaurant and Bar on Warren Street in Hudson at 7:00 PM tonight.  If you’re in the listening area, that’s 90.7 on your FM dial and, if you’re not, it’s available at www.wgxc.org/listen.

It’s the umbrella title for a collection of stories, recollections, monologues and performance pieces from the WGXC Diamond Street Radio Players, an ad hoc group of local artists and performers.  It appears to be shaping up as a fun night and I’m really glad; I like fun nights.

The day resulted in my recycling about three pounds of paper that had piled on my desk and now, at the end of the day, I am on deck, working on one of my “letters.”

It has been a day of calm and music and fun work.

Every hour or so, I checked on Houston and it’s not good.  At last count, 2,000 rescues had been performed and another 185 were waiting to be performed.  Ten are dead which seems a blessing after Katrina and its hundreds.

My friend, Janice McDonald, is in Houston, reporting on it.  Look her up on Facebook for her first-hand reports.

There is some irony here.  Texas is experiencing one of the most horrific of natural events and its Federal legislators voted against help to Hurricane Sandy victims.  Let us hope that legislators in areas affected by Hurricane Sandy aren’t as mean spirited when Texas asks for help, as it will.

It will be years before this is undone.

Mark me in the column of glad I have a hybrid car as Hurricane Harvey may cause gas prices to rise by a dollar or more as 15% of the refinery resources in the country are being pummeled by this storm.

Also, mark me glad I quit smoking.  The price of cigarettes in New York City are now at $13.00 a pack, highest in the nation.  I feel better and I’m not as cash strapped as I would be if I were smoking.  It’s now been at least 15 years and only once in a great while do I feel the pull to a smoke; usually in a bar, martini in hand while having some deeply intellectual conversation that probably won’t be remembered in the morning.

That was another day.  Not today.

Today the creek is astoundingly clear; water rippling in the soft wind that has arrived.

While I was sitting on the deck, in the quiet of my life, the pudgy little dictator in North Korea sent a missile flying over Japan which is just inflaming those regional tensions.

Oh, yikes.  He needs a lot of attention that boy.

As does our President.  And that is part of what makes me creepily uncomfortable with him – the amount of attention he needs.  And demands.  And gets.

The Washington Post is reporting that while seeking the presidency, Mr. Trump was also seeking a deal in Russia to build a Trump Tower there.  Felix Sater, a Trump associate, was running around bragging the deal would get The Donald elected.  This one hasn’t/can’t be completely parsed out yet but the Russia thing is not going away and I wonder what is happening in Robert Mueller’s office at this very minute.

As I go to bed tonight, I will pray for Houston and be grateful I have not had to experience anything like what they are going through.  My whole life, for the most part, has been lucky.  I’ve not had any Sandy’s or Harvey’s in my life.  Irene went through here a few years ago and spared me; around me there was catastrophe but in my sweet spot of the earth, not much.

Let’s think of Houston. Pray for them.

 

Letter From New York 02 15 16 It’s our nuts…

February 16, 2016

Columbia County  Ben Franklin  Pandora  Antonin Scalia  Obama  Mitch McConnell  Oil Prices  Saturday Night Live  Cruz  Rubio  Trump

Outside, a light snow is falling and I am sequestered in the cottage, where I have been all day.  It’s very chill though tomorrow we are supposed to hit the low fifties.  We are all rolling our eyes about this winter which seems unlike any winter I have experienced since I’ve been up in Columbia County.  For the most part, it’s been like a long, chill fall and not like winter.

There is a fire in the Franklin Stove though I have the door closed.  I am not after aesthetics tonight, I am after heat.  There has been a chill to the cottage all day and I am seeking to counter it with the stove, which could almost heat the house when I keep it stocked with logs and the door closed.  Good old Ben Franklin; a fount of inventions…

Jazz is playing on Pandora.  I am getting better so I am no longer feeling the need for silence.  It is the first day I haven’t spoken to my sister since this began.  I’m healing but am still so tired; I sleep a deep sleep every night and usually for nine to eleven hours.  Ah, “sleep that knits up the raveled sleeve of care…”  My sleeve has been raveled and needs knitting up…

Several friends have called today to check on the state of my health and after I have assured them I am on the mend, our talk seems to go to politics and all express a dismay at the political world we are living in.  Scalia is dead and McConnell has sworn to delay an appointment until we have a new President.  And, frankly, I rolled my eyes at that.  Somehow, it seems the Republicans think of Obama as an eight year constitutional crisis and I don’t understand that. 

I haven’t always agreed with him and I don’t think he is a constitutional crisis personified.   I have never understood what seems a pathological hatred for the man by Republicans.

After a discussion of Scalia, we immediately go to Trump who has caused the campaign for the Republican nomination to resemble a Saturday Night Live comedy sketch. 

And yet it’s all very real.  And the vitriol between the Republicans is so unseemly.  I am appalled.  But they are taking it very seriously.  And that’s more than a little frightening…  Cruz, Rubio, Trump are espousing the politics of fear and hatred from what I see.  Where is hope?  Belief in the future? 

The rest of the world is ticking on.  The Australians have uncovered a ring of drug smugglers using bras to carry meth.  The WHO is working to figure out Zika. Ehud Olmert, a former Israeli Prime Minister, is off to prison while proclaiming his innocence.  Gas is under $2.00 a gallon in most places. 

The world is nuts.  When hasn’t it been?  It is just this is our nuts and we have to deal with it.