Posts Tagged ‘Winter Storm Jonas’

Letter From New York 01 24 16 Thoughts while missing Snowmaggedon

January 24, 2016

Winter Storm Jonas  Columbia County  JFK Airport  The Red Dot  Transform Films  “Newtown”  Nick Stuart  The Donald  Iowa Caucuses  The Revenant Leonardo di Caprio  Star Wars  Jeff Bezos  Blue Origins

The coastline of the United States has been brutalized by Winter Storm Jonas.  I fled on Friday so that I could be at home when he/it hit.  However, strangely enough, not a flake of snow has fallen in Columbia County.  It has been cold with a bruising wind but nothing like the snow in the city.

JFK had 30 inches of snow on the runway with thousands of canceled flights.  My friend Larry was stranded in the city on the way to spend her birthday with his wife in Mexico.  My friend Jerry was on one of the last flights out before they shut the airport down.

And here we are, in great shape.  It was my intention to go to the city tomorrow afternoon and I think I won’t, giving New York a few more days to clean itself up before I head in.

Down in Washington, DC my nephew Kevin is part of a group of volunteers who are shoveling the walks of the elderly and shut-ins.  So like Kevin, which is one of the reasons I am so proud of him.

In one of the most tragic of storm related deaths, a good Samaritan pulled over to help a motorist who had slid off the road only to have the motorist shoot him to death.

Up early today, I prepped for class this week, went to church.

It is my habit these days to light candles at church for a variety of things — a friend in the UK who is fighting a brain tumor, another friend whose daughter is suffering from traumatic brain disorder, for myself, for the world in which live.  Today there was only one match and so I managed to light only one candle for all those things.

I started lighting candles as thanks and hope when I was in my early teens after an incident in which I nearly drowned.

Following church, I was off to the Dot where I sat doing lesson plans until I either had to order or not.  After Eggs Benedict on potato latkes, I headed home to do some more work.

One of the things I did was to log on to Twitter and follow #Transformfilmsinc.

Transform Films is premiering a film at Sundance this year, “Newtown.”  It follows the ravaging of lives that has occurred since the mass shooting there a little over three years ago.  Nick Stuart, my best friend, is Executive Producer.

As I type, they are screening.

As I grow older, I am aware how lucky I am and have been.  I have had Death nip at my heels a couple of times and am still here to tell the tale.  The loss of my friend Paul has been sobering and a reminder of my own mortality. 

It is the course of life.  None of us get out of here alive.

While I am here, I will continue to observe and to comment as best I can, savoring the ability to shape words to some meaning.

In the fireplace, a small fire is burning.  The dishwasher is running.  The flood lights illuminate the creek.  I have missed Snowmaggedon.

To my political amazement, Trump has gained 15 points in the last two weeks in Iowa.  The Donald is a juggernaut to be sure.

In film, everyone I know is talking up Leonardo di Caprio’s “The Revenant.”  So much so I feel I must see it sooner than later.  I am late to seeing “Star Wars.” I will, eventually but my passion for The Force has cooled.

Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon, also has another company, Blue Origins.  It successfully sent up a rocket and had it return to land upright, successfully, twice now.  Pretty impressive, I think.  One more step to realizing the reach out to space.

One of the things that has saddened me in my life was that having once reached the moon, we seemed to stop striving.  Now it is Internet billionaires who are revitalizing the race to space.  Good for them.

Letter From New York 01 22 16 While waiting for Jonas…

January 22, 2016

Winter Storm Jonas  DC  Claverack  James Green  Magnetic Media  Jerry May  Stock Markets  European Refugee Crisis  Alexander Litvinenko  Putin  Film Academy Diversity Crisis  X Files

I slipped out of the city today on the 11:20 and headed north.  It was chill in the city, feeling colder than the temperature. Once I reached the cottage I decided to remain in for the rest of the day.  A fire is burning and jazz is playing on Pandora.  I will probably turn in early, watch some video, read a book, have a rest…

The eyes of the East coast are all turned on Winter Storm Jonas, which threatens havoc to the coastal cities.  Washington, DC might get as much as two feet of snow and the Mayor there is calling it potentially life threatening.  And it well could be; DC is not particularly adept at dealing with severe winter weather.

Just now I looked at the weather forecast for Claverack and it looks like the storm might miss us.  Precipitation forecast is only 10%. The storm will batter the coastal areas and leave us relatively unscathed.  But that could, of course, change.  I’ll let you know tomorrow.

Thursday I had lunch with an old boss, James Green, who is now CEO of Magnetic Media and they are doing very well, thank you.  It was good and comforting to spend a couple of hours with him.  He is a warm and generous soul.

Dinner was with my long time friend, Jerry May, a chance to catch up, hear about the heart valve replacement he had had last year and to cherish each other’s friendship.  I am hoping his plane gets out of JFK tonight for Seattle, where he lives.

All the major financial indices were up today after a brutal week that challenged anyone faint of heart.

My well seasoned wood is burning wonderfully.  The music is lovely and I am glad to be home, snuggled in the warmth of the cottage.  There feels no reason to stir from here tonight. 

It has been a week to recover from…

Paul’s Memorial Service took more from me than I thought it would though being there gave back to me and I am so glad to have been part of it. 

The world remains a brutal place.

Dozens have drowned in attempting to flee Syria, continuing the flow toward Europe even though the seas are dangerous this time of year.  In ancient days, no ships sailed during this part of the year.  The dozens included more than a dozen children.

It has been ten years since Alexander Litvinenko died as a result of drinking polonium laced tea in London.  Once a Russian operative he became a fierce critic of Putin.  One of the things he accused Putin was that Tsar Vladimir was a pedophile. 

And there are creepy, creepy photos of Putin on a stroll in 2006 calling a five year old boy over to him, pulling up his shirt and kissing his stomach. Seems really inappropriate.  Litvinenko said that Putin had the films of him and underage boys destroyed when he gained power.

And it is those accusations think some that made Litvinenko a marked man.  A British judge said today that “probably” Putin ordered the removal of Litvinenko.  And polonium poisoning is not a pretty way to go.  The poor man lingered in horrific pain for three weeks.

The Academy of Motion Picture Arts & Sciences is embroiled in a controversy about the lack of diversity in its nominations.  It’s the second year there have been no people of color in them. 

The Academy says that it is going to work to broaden its membership.  As it should.  It is primarily male, white and the average age is 63.  Less than 2% are African American and less than 2% are Latino.  There are about 6,000 members. 

Charlotte Rampling, an actress that was very big in the 1960s and is nominated this year decried the protests as “anti-white racism” during an interview in Paris, where she now lives.  I used to really like her.

The “X Files” are returning in a six part mini-series.  Looking forward to that.  Hopefully better than the films.

It’s dark but not late.  No snow yet. Looking forward to the morning.  I’m going to believe we’ll miss the hit and I will be just fine.

Hope you are just fine too!