Wednesday, July 08, 2020

It can be a lovely world!

The last few days we've been in the 105F (40-14C) area in the afternoon.  My wife and I take care of that little problem by 1) taking our walk early in the morning and 2) staying in our air conditioned house in the afternoon.  It is running between 75-80F (25C) at 06:00 but that is a bunch easier on the old bodies.  It is also a great time to enjoy this lovely corner of the world. 

We live in a valley with mountains all around us.  Watching the sunlight slowly creep down the mountain side to our west is something that I'll never tire of seeing.  You can just watch the light moving down the mountain as the sun comes up over the mountains in the east.  It is amazing.  It is also a good time to see what little wildlife we have around here:  rabbits, jack rabbits, ravens, doves and lots of other birds.  Once in a while we'll see a coyote but that is quite rare.  It is also quiet with little traffic which is important because we have no sidewalks and have to walk in the road.  By the time we finish our walk the sun is really warm.

Today I went out to get the mail and saw a burrowing owl.  They are super shy and I didn't see the owl until it flew away.  These owls don't really dig burrows but borrow used holes in the ground from others.  They will even use the culverts people have at their driveways; which is where this morning's owl was hiding when I scared it.  This is a lousy photo but it's the best I could manage. 
Wikipedia, as always, has a much better photo and lots of detail on the little guys.  Weve seen them on our walks before and we always cross to the other side of the road to give them some space.  It usually works. 

Keep on washing those hands and doing your social distancing.  Thanks for stopping by.

Sunday, July 05, 2020

Happy 5th of July!

Well, apparently I missed posting on the 4th but, well, it is such an odd year maybe that just fits in properly.  Happy 244th Birthday USA!  I was reading a couple blogs this a.m. and one that I often enjoy is Sightings Over Sixty and yesterday's post was no exception.  The post, entitled "More Stuff I Don't Understand" was about the strange, strange times we are living through.  It's true:  horribly high unemployment but the stock market is fully recovered from the Covid-19 scare; there are more people with the virus but no one seems to care; the President seems totally unaware of the rest of the world; people still think he is doing a good job.  WTF??? 

Another blogger quoted this line:  We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.  So what the hell happened to that idea?  Equal??  Rights??  Liberty??  Why does it seem that black people not included in that sentence?  They seem much more likely to be arrested than white people.  I was checking out a fact sheet from the NAACP web site.  It has some really amazing statistics!  For example, African Americans are incarcerated at more than 5 times the rate of whites.  As of 2015 African American and Hispanic people comprise about 32% of the population but comprise 56% of the prison population. 

I don't pretend to know what is going on there; certainly discrimination by the police is part of the problem but I'm sure that poverty is a much larger factor.  26% of African American families live in poverty compared to 11% of white families.  And that isn't counting single parent families where the rate is much higher.  It is a shame that in this wonderful land that such discrimination exists.  Education, or the lack of it, is certainly a critical factor.  The same article suggests that a family headed by a college graduate makes nearly two times as much as a family headed by someone whose education stopped at high school.

I hope I haven't been too dismal here but these days are not 'our finest hour'.  The government isn't totally to blame but there sure are things that could be done differently.  The way everyday people interact is nothing to do with government but it doesn't make me proud.  Here in Nevada we've been ordered to wear masks while in public areas so, of course, we had a demonstration against wearing masks.  A large number of the people demonstrating were wearing firearms because that is legal here.  Inspections suggest that only about half of businesses are complying.  What the heck, the mask may keep you from getting ill but one's right to not wear one is oh so important.  What a place!  Take care & keep washing those hands.