Posts Tagged ‘Tim Cook’

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.

Letter From New York 03 09 15 Not at all, all bad…

March 9, 2015

The Weather Channel app indicated today was going to be warm but rather cloudy. Instead, the sky is blue and the sun has beamed down happily all day, warming my part of the world to a stunning 48 degrees; I even wandered a bit with only a fleece jacket on for a while.

The trees are casting sharp shadows and there is the sound of water dripping as icicles melt. Perhaps we are on our way to spring at last!

Tonight I am trying my hand at Shrimp Scampi accompanied by a white Cote de Rhone. My friends Lionel and Pierre are coming and I am savoring what time I have with them as soon they are off to Baltimore, where Lionel has a new job.

The news of the day is not all bad. Strange in places but not all bad.

Forty-seven Senate Republicans have sent a letter to the leaders of Iran warning them that a deal with Obama might not last beyond his administration. Something like this is unprecedented, I suspect. It feels wrong to me. Not surprisingly, the White House is furious.

IS continues to feel pressure. The Iraqi forces continue to put pressure on them in their drive to retake Tikrit. The US led coalition has bombed their oil fields, which once got them somewhere between $850,000 and $1,500,000 a day. Between the raids and the oil glut, oil is no longer their biggest source of income.

Divisions seem to be rising, with Syrian and Iraqi fighters resenting the privileges given to foreign troops in the form of better pay and postings. A resistance movement seems to be forming; several militants were gunned down in a drive-by shooting recently.

Vladimir Putin, President of Russia, has admitted in a documentary that he cooked up the plan to retake Crimea long before he originally said. The trailer, with this piece in it, was shown on Russian television last night. No date for the actual documentary screening has been set. It is called “The Path to the Motherland.” Well, we suspected, now we know.

While the world’s archeologists are attempting to save Syrian and Iraqi artifacts and ruins, the Vatican is attempting to get back a letter written and signed by Michelangelo. It was stolen back in 1997; a ransom request was received today. The common thinking is that this was an inside job.

And in Israel, three men found a trove of Hellenic coins and jewelry while spelunking and have turned the treasure over to Israeli authorities.

Today, speaking of treasures, the Apple Watch was unveiled. It starts at $349 and goes all the way up to about $17,000. Tim Cook, CEO of Apple, promises it will be like a friend on your wrist, a coach. I am going to be interested to see if it catches on. The report I read indicates it is not as user friendly as the iPhone.

And in another bright moment for Apple, HBO Now, HBO’s OTT offering, will be exclusively available on Apple devices for the first three months.

What also was shown today is a new MacBook, which is light and wonderful and gold and almost stole the show.

What is not stealing the show, is Hillary Clinton’s email fiasco, which continues to brew and boil and bubble. Politico speculates that she will address it at a press conference scheduled for sometime in the next few days.

In 2006, Helen Mirren won an Oscar for her performance as Queen Elizabeth II in the film, “The Queen.” She is back as Elizabeth II in a Broadway play entitled, “The Audience.” Though my Bachelor’s and Master’s are in Theater, I rarely attend. However, this is one play I intend to see, once I have returned from India.

Ah, the day has reached that state when all seems cast in shades of brown. I must go set the table and prepare for dinner. A martini awaits.