Posts Tagged ‘iPhone7’

Letter From Claverack 09 08 2016 A Creekside view…

September 9, 2016

Three days of grey clouds portended but did not produce rain.  Tonight, after seeing Woody Allen’s “Café Society,” I left the theater to be greeted by a soft rain falling, driving home over glistening roads.

Mixed reports had me slightly ambivalent about seeing “Café Society.”  Some said it was good.  Some said it wasn’t.  One wag commented, “It isn’t the worst Woody Allen film.”  No, it definitely wasn’t.  It wasn’t “Annie Hall” or “Manhattan” or “Bullets Over Broadway.” It was a slightly overlong, mostly charming view of a family in the late 1930’s in New York and Hollywood.  As usual, there was a pantheon of stars giving good performances including Jesse Eisenberg, Steve Carrell, Blake Lively [the first time I have liked her], Parker Posey, Corey Stoll and Kristen Stewart.

Mostly it looked beautiful and poignant and timeless and full of love gone round the wrong corner.

It was the second day of class and we’re all still alive and at least all my students seemed moderately engaged, except, perhaps, for the young woman who seemed to be fighting off falling asleep.  When I did a survey, all but three of my students are working jobs as well as attending school.  Some of them, many of them, have full time jobs as well as being full time students.  No wonder they sometimes yawn.

Out there in the world, beyond my quiet Creekside world, the strident tone of politics continues.

Last night, Matt Lauer moderated interviews, not at the same time, of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, supposedly about their views on issues related to national security.

Lauer, who, once upon a time I liked, devoted a third of Clinton’s half-hour to her email server issues.  Then, according to the news reports, didn’t handle the rest of the interview well.

It is the general consensus of the press that Lauer screwed up; was unprepared and unable to stand up to Donald Trump when he repeated he had been against the Iraq War when, in fact, he is on record of supporting it in 2002.

Alas, no TODAY for me going forward.  Shame on NBC for blowing this opportunity.  Shame on Matt Lauer for blowing his opportunity.

Depending on who you listen to, Trump is beating Clinton or Clinton is beating Trump.  The polls are rocky right now. There are only 60 or 61 days left to the election.  While I can’t conceive of it, there is a possibility Donald Trump will be President.

Libertarian Presidential nominee Gary Johnson, who has been getting close enough in the polls that he might be included in the debates, made a major gaffe the other day when he had no knowledge of Aleppo.  “What is Aleppo?”

Aleppo is the epicenter of the catastrophe that is Syria, where it has been reported Assad’s forces used chlorine gas on citizens.  There are frightful images of Syrian civilians needing oxygen.  Chlorine gas was the scourge of the WWI and now it is back in Syria.

In news of the future, Google and Chipotle are experimenting at UVA with drone delivery of burritos.  Buzzing in the sky will become normal…

In other news from the present, Apple’s stock was down 3% today after the announcement of the iPhone 7.  The no jack situation has many people [and investors] spooked.  Me too.  My iPhone 5s will not connect, for whatever reason, wirelessly with my speakers.  Everything else, easy peasy, but not from my phone.  And, in the end, I might succumb to the iPhone 7 Plus but might end up choosing the iPhone 6 Plus because it has a jack.  I have been waiting for the iPhone 7 and feel just a little cheated. Much thought ahead.

Fifteen years ago tomorrow, my now ex-partner and I made an offer on the cottage, from where I write this.  Which means that two days later we will have the fifteenth anniversary of 9/11.

It is an anniversary that always brings me back to my experience of horror on a scale I had never known.  It takes me to the corner of West Broadway and Spring Street, looking at the Towers burning and feeling stunned and knowing at that moment there was nowhere to turn.  We had just turned a page in history.

 

Letter From New York 05 07 2016 Thoughts from yesterday…

May 7, 2016

The town of Fort McMurray, in the heart of Canada’s oil patch, is burning to the ground as I write.  88,000 people are being evacuated.  One who has remained to assist in fueling emergency workers described the city, according to Vice, as a “f**king ghost town.”  Reports are calling the situation barely managed chaos. Convoys are transporting people out of town and 8,000 have been airlifted out.

The Prime Minister of Turkey has resigned after a fight with President Erdogan.  As I understand it, in Turkey it’s the PM who is supposed to have the power while the President does the meeting and the greeting.  Erdogan doesn’t see it that way and has been keeping hold on the reins of power.  This resignation makes it easier for Erdogan to consolidate power.  Turkey is troubled, fighting a Kurdish insurgency, IS, wrestling with refugees and a population that is growing antagonistic to Erdogan.

I still would like to go back to the “Turquoise Coast” of that country, sun dappled and bucolic.

Not bucolic is the state of American politics.  Trump continues to rise and has no opposition on his march to the nomination.  Cruz and Kasich are gone. The Presidents Bush, number 41 and 43, have signaled they will not endorse him. Paul Ryan is “not ready” at this time to endorse Trump.  The Trump campaign approached over a hundred Republican politicos to say something good about Trump.  Only twenty responded; the others were “too busy.”

As I gave my last lecture, the students were commenting on how exhausted they were of the political season and the near certainty that Trump will be the Republican nominee has only heightened their distaste for politics; all suspect an ugly, brutal slugfest between the two candidates, neither of whom they admire, assuming Hillary is nominated, as it looks she will. The aspirational nature of politics has slipped away from us.

And before it is done, something like $4 billion will be spent on this election, twice what was spent in 2012.

President Obama implored reporters to focus on issues and not “the spectacle and circus” that has marked coverage so far of the 2016 Presidential race.  After all, being President of the United States is “not a reality show.”  Amen…

A Fort Valley State University student, in central Georgia, was stabbed to death as he came to aid three women who were being harassed and groped near the school cafeteria.  Rest in peace, Donnell Phelps, all of nineteen.

Two are dead and two are wounded in shootings is suburban Maryland, three at Montgomery Mall, where I have shopped and one at a grocery store nine miles away.  One man is believed responsible.  If it is the man police suspect, he killed his wife last night when she was at school, picking up their children.  He was under court order to stay away from her.

It is a grey afternoon as I write this, in a stretch of chill, grey days and news like the above deepens the pall of the day.

If you are feeling grey because “Downton Abbey” has slipped into the past, its creator, Julian Fellowes, took Trollope’s novel, “Doctor Thorne” and brought it to life.  Amazon has purchased it and will stream it beginning May 20.  Fill a hole in your viewing heart.

In my heart, I want a new iPhone and I am probably going to wait until the fall when Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, tells us that the iPhone 7 will give us features we can’t live without.  What they are, I don’t know.  I am writing this on a train going north and can’t stream on Amtrak’s wifi.

Speaking of Amtrak, I booked a trip from New York to Minneapolis on the train for July 20th to visit my brother and his family.  I am taking a train to DC, the Capital Limited out of there to Chicago and the Empire Builder from Chicago to Minneapolis.  I hope it will be good fun.

Fun seems to be what we need these days.  Our politics are not fun.  The constant barrage of shootings is not fun, not remotely.  The economy, while growing, isn’t growing fast enough which is not fun.

What will be fun is that Lionel and Pierre are going to be at their home across the street from me this weekend and I will get to see them.