1. elevenSometimes I wish it would rain more often here. I live in Southern California where a month’s worth of rainy days are about average. I’m from the Midwest, where a month’s worth of rainy days often happen in a month. I’m not talking about thunder storms. Thunder Storms are okay as long as you’re inside and your plan was to stay inside all day. Then being able to watch the crash and flash of a mean and nasty thunder-storm can be quite pleasant. What I’d like to see are more refreshing, cool drizzle days… something to break up the humdrum of sunny day after sunny day.
  2. The gardener is blowing leaves and dust past my window. If I owned a house here I’d never have a gardener… never. I find it amusing that very few people here enjoy the pleasure of pushing (or riding) a lawn mower over an accumulation of grass that you have cared for: sometimes planting, sometimes weeding, sometimes hand watering. They also don’t know how enjoyable it can be to plant and nurture flowers and vegetable plants: choosing them, putting them into the soil in a personally chosen arrangement, weeding, watering, then picking either to place in vases or bowls.
  3. I’m shrinking and my ears are growing. Some men my age also see their hair disappearing. That’s not me, however. The day I entered the army my official height was 5’8″. I was actually a little over 5’7.5″ tall, so the nurse who measured me rounded it up. I thought that was very nice of him. I’ve always wanted to be taller. Whenever there’s a picture of me with friends, I’m almost always the shortest man in the picture and I’m often shorter than some of the women. A few days ago I was looking at the notes from my latest doctor’s visit and saw that my height was listed at 5’6″ (and shrinking). All I asked from life was to be allowed to make it to 5 foot 5 inches. I thought this was reasonable, since I come from a family of short people. I never made it past 5’ 4”. The other thing I’ve noticed happened when I looked at pictures of myself from about 30 years ago and a few weeks ago. The camera has played a cruel trick on my. It photo shopped somebody else’s ears onto my head.
  4. Members of my family have a genetic mutation, called Pseudoxanthoma elasticum (PXE), also known as Grönblad–Strandberg syndrome. It causes fragmentation and mineralization of elastic fibers in some tissues. The most common problems arise in the skin and eyes, and later in blood vessels in the form of premature atherosclerosis. . I’m very fortunate that I do not have it, but some of my sibling’s do. It’s a frightening disease. One of my brother’s is almost completely blind because of it. Some people with PXE look like they have extra skin or wrinkles, especially around the neck and on their arms.
  5. I tend to prefer young adult novels over adult novels. I like to think that’s because I’m a kid at heart. I’ve read all the Harry Potter books (and seen all the movies), the entire Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children series, books 2 and 3 of the Hunger Games series (after seeing the movie for the first book), all three books of the Divergent series, the False Prince trilogy, the Seelie Wars series by Jane Yolen, the Maze Runner, Stargirl, The Giver, I’ve ordered Bone Gap, and I’m reading The Obisidian Blade to list just a few. On the other hand I do read books intended for adults… most recently The Goldfinch, The Girl on the Train, Stitches, and I’m reading The Age of Doubt by Andrea Camilleri, and Tenth of December by George Saunders.
  6.  I wish more people would read this blog. I think I write some pretty good stuff, but then I don’t do a lot to market it… maybe I should… maybe I will.
  7. Because I’ve had a problem losing weight I’ve stopped eating wheat products and stay away from most grains. Since I’m of Italian heritage I especially miss pizza, and pasta – almost any kind of pasta. It’s not easy for me to go into an Italian restaurant and not order a pasta dish… usually I don’t. That is I don’t not order a pasta dish… which is a double negative and for me having too much pasta is a double negative. I was once 70 pounds over weight. I’m now only 30 pounds overweight (did I mention that I really miss corn, too) and seem to have leveled off. I’ve been hovering there for the past four months, so I’m taking the advice of one of my best friend as well as that of one of my sisters and going to give the Beachbody program a try (more on that later).
  8. My Car on the lot 2002I no longer own a car. It’s been more than a year since I donated it to charity. I’m fortunate to live in a place where three grocery stores, a department store and at least a dozen restaurants are within six blocks. However, I miss owning a car. Not sure why. I get along perfectly well without one. I’m happy not having to pay licensing, insurance, and upkeep costs. Maybe it’s the status of it, the conversationality of it… I can’t talk about the benefits of ‘my car’ or the crazy drivers I’ve encountered, or the best gas price around.
  9. The White Sox have just enough time left to make a run at a playoff spot, but they won’t. The Cubs have enough time left to win 100 games, and they probably will (the World Series is another matter). The Bears are going to better this year, than most of the sportswriters are predicting… at least one, probably two games better than .500. The Bulls will have a good shot at last place this year… maybe even worst in the NBA. If the Cubs win the World Series, the Black Hawks will win the Stanley Cup. If the Cubs don’t win the World Series, the Black Hawks might still win the Stanley Cup.
  10. I just found a way to get Windows One Drive off my computer: http://www.zdnet.com/article/windows-10-tip-shut-down-onedrive-completely/ – Let’s see of it stays off.
  11. I’d never heard of Amatrice, Italy before this morning’s newest telling about the devastating earthquake that hit the area, demolishing much of Amatrice. It hit at just about the worst possible time because tourists have been flooding into the the town which was set to hold its 50th annual Festival of the Spaghetti all’Amatriciana this weekend in honor of one of Italy’s most famous dishes, which originated there. Although this may sound a bit crass, considering the death toll due to the earthquake, but I’m wondering about the town’s architecture. Amatrice is the home of a number of churches including two 15th century churches, St. Francis and Sant’Agostino, which feature medieval artwork and statues. I am always deeply saddened anytime a disaster takes human life, but I am also saddened when it destroys things of beauty and history.

And I know you were expecting me to write something about Donald or Hillary. Sorry, but I try hard not to think about either of them.

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