Posts Tagged ‘Chunnel’

Letter From New York 07 29 15 Of missile launches, lion hunts and other things…

July 29, 2015

It is a sunny and blistering hot day in New York. I had a lunch today at Sarabeth’s in Lord & Taylor on 5th Avenue. It is not a terrible walk but by the time I arrived there, I was more than damp and glad I had topped off with a cold drink of water before I left. Coming back, I caught the bus right outside the store and rode it to Penn Station, walking from there to the office.

When I left the apartment this morning, I turned off the air conditioning but it may have been wiser to leave it on. Heat warnings are in effect for NYC until tomorrow at 8:00 PM. People are to restrain outside activities between 11 and 4 and cooling centers are open for those who might not have air conditioning.

As the day begins to fade, I am gathering my thoughts about the events of the world.

Mullah Omar, head of the Taliban, has apparently been dead for the last two years, according to the Afghans. US Intelligence is examining the claim closely. Supposedly, he died in a Pakistani hospital of an undetermined illness. If he is dead, it may help the peace process. Or not. Some of his supporters have broken from the Taliban and proclaimed their allegiance to IS.

The murkiness continues.

Some parts of a plane washed up on Reunion Island in the Indian Ocean. They are being examined to see if they are pieces to the missing MH 370, the Malaysian Airlines flight that disappeared in March of 2014, leaving behind no trace. Despite huge search efforts, nothing has been found and the mystery has been unabated.

Another Malaysian Airliner was shot down over Ukraine. Effort has been being made to initiate a UN tribunal to look into the events surrounding the downing of the flight but they are being blocked by Russia.

Two young Florida boys went fishing. Their boat was found capsized 180 miles from where they started. The search continues, without a trace of them so far.

There is a religious festival that is held every five years in Nepal. Five hundred thousand [500,000] animals have their throats cut. It won’t be happening this year. Priests at the temple of Gidhimai have said that there will be an indefinite halt to the sacrifices to this Goddess of Power. Animal activists are pleased but don’t intend to lower their watch. I think it’s the use of the word “indefinite” that concerns them.

“The enemy of my enemy is my friend” is an old saying that is not holding up between the Turks and the Kurds. Both are fighting IS but they haven’t quit fighting each other. Erdogan, President of Turkey, is concerned because the Kurdish party won 13% of the vote in the last election. Something it has never done. Erdogan is accusing some of the Kurdish members of Parliament of having ties to terrorism. The Erdogan accusations are getting a lot of play; Kurdish rebuttals are receiving little attention.

The Government of Kim Jong-un, everyone’s favorite pudgy little dictator, looks like it is getting ready for a new missile test, having just finished upgrading its rocket launch facility. It will raise tensions between North Korea and the rest of the world, again, and probably result in more sanctions. It will probably happen in October when there is a big political celebration.

Over the last couple of days, hundreds of migrants have stormed the Chunnel, between England and France, desperate to make it to the UK. Riot police have been called out. The Mediterranean problem is sweeping north.

A Minnesota dentist paid $50,000 for a big game hunt in Zimbabwe. He hired a couple of locals. They lured a lion out of a park and he was felled with a crossbow. It turns out the lion was a local tourist favorite, Cecil the Lion. The uproar is horrific. Walter Palmer, the dentist, is apologetic, saying he relied on the locals to ensure a legal hunt. But it looks like the website to his practice has been taken down and he has been thoroughly trashed on social media.

I was not aware that one could still legally hunt wild game in Africa. I thought the only shooting that could be done was with a camera. I was wrong.

It took the hunters forty hours to locate Cecil and to end his misery with a gunshot.

And in ending today’s blog, how better to end it than with an update on The Donald? He has gone on record saying he would welcome Sarah Palin in his administration.

Oh my.

Letter From New York 01 17 15 Far from the world’s troubles…

January 17, 2015

The bitter cold has continued. My kitchen faucet is still dripping steadily to keep it from freezing up. The kitchen cupboards are kept open and the house is steadily warm. All day yesterday, I burned logs in the Franklin stove, warming the house.

I went to have my hair cut this morning and I was shivering by the time I got into the shop, which was still chill from the night before and hadn’t warmed up. I did my best not to shake while my hair was being cut.

Following that, I went down to the Red Dot for something to eat. Sitting there, I read a book, a real book, not one on my Kindle. I got some great pleasure out of turning the pages and having the tactile experience of feeling paper.

It was nothing deep; a well-written mystery by Susan Hill entitled “The Soul of Discretion.” Very well done. My friend, Linda Epperson, suggested her to me and I have enjoyed each of the books in the series. It’s a bit of escapism, which doesn’t seem a bad thing for a Saturday afternoon.

Though I have piles of papers next to my desk that need sorting, I decided to read rather than sort. It is, after all, Saturday. Though I will need to do it tomorrow, before I head into town on Monday.

The days have a rhythm and I like that. Getting up in the morning, coffee, the New York Times on my iPhone or iPad, a check of the weather, a quick game of solitaire on the phone. Then the work of the day begins, whatever it might be that day.

Most of it is about searching for what I might be doing going forward. I have a few things lined up but it is the quietest time I have had in a long time.   Getting restless, I am starting to see if I can stir up some “trouble.”

Around this time of day, I turn my attention to The Letter From New York and, about this time, with great regularity, the deer cross my yard. They were a little early today, a herd traveling east, off toward the open field behind my property.

The geese are like a flotilla on the creek, making noise through day and night. I don’t mind for some reason. They don’t keep me awake and feel comforting somehow in their presence.

It is calm and peaceful here, sunny and chill, but above all peaceful.

Far away are the storms of the world.

Two are dead in a mall shooting in Florida. Five have been arrested on suspicion of terrorism in Belgium. A truck fire closed the Chunnel for a while but there were no injuries. Rebels have abducted the Chief of Staff for the President of Yemen. I could go on. There is never a shortage of troubles.

But right now, the sun is shining here in Claverack. The troubles of the world seem far away and I am going to let them stay far away today. I am doing those ordinary things that are part of the beat of life, reading a book and doing some laundry. Getting ready to join friends for dinner.

Tomorrow, the temperature is expected to rise up and perhaps I can stop letting the water drip. That would be a change.