Friday, December 25, 2020

Christmas 2020

Any longtime readers of this blog, say in 2050, may remember that Christmas was a time for being studious in my book, to buckle down. 

A lot of people feel that way, about the season in general. There's so much to catch up on, and work is a treadmill.  Let off the hook from work for a couple weeks, and some people dive in, desperately hoping to bone up one whatever it is that might be their ticket to something new. 

The tread was quite evident when I worked for OST, a pilot school, not in the sense of being "just a test", but more in the sense of "first incarnation". As soon as you put graders in the back end, for certification, and don't use automation to judge correct results (because coding is about more than results), you've got a big number of puzzles to solve.  

One of those puzzles is how to give faculty a break when the masses are getting theirs.  Everyone wants to learn Python over Christmas vacation. I don't blame them. My queues would start spiking.

This year I'm not "slaying the queue" as we used to put it.  I'm running a plush retirement home for my mother.  Actually it's not all that plush, and one of Dawn's embarrassments was how cluttered it was. She was hoping we might move, or develop more handyman skills (not just me, but the both of us).

My reality was different:  we'd been super lucky, with catalyzing assistance from Laurie, in scoring this place and my ideal household was like the Thomforde's in Rome, a transplanted farm family, the dad working for the FAO.  

They had lots of kids and we'd go there for Quaker meeting -- a cul de sac off the Via Cassia, not far from the school, an ideal location.  They actually had two homes over time, moving further down the street at one point.  A large undeveloped valley, farmland, stretched to the school (Overseas School of Rome).  

I thought I'd like to have a house like theirs, not like one of those museum piece homes where everything has its place and so on.  That thing people do with their "living room": all antiques and hardly ever do people actually sit there (only on "rare" occasions), with a "rec room" separate... that's all a sign of social class I guess, but to me it's a big waste of floorspace.

For Christmas, we practiced Video Chat with Julie, my sister, using Facebook. Then we connected with my younger daughter.  I texted my Christmas greetings to Alexia earlier this morning.  Bill Lightfoot sent us the ritual fruit cake.  

We shifted our emphasis to Lauries Hanukkah party a long time ago, in terms of celebrating Shangha (community) and exchanging gifts. Christmas became more a time for study and introspection.  I did some more followup on the recent spy story scandals, updating a blog post and therefore redating it forward.

Thursday, December 24, 2020

Christmas Eve 2020

Xmas Eve 2020

 I just got back from Glenn's, one of the five places left in my orbit.  He's rediscovering a lot of ideas all at once, what I called "epiphanizing", most of them having to do with the Platonic Five projected is if from without, to map the Earth's surface, or mapped to the heavens, to see through and get coordinated with.

I'm being studious. Some random Quora answer, not mine, persuaded me to dive into FastAPI, a newer Python framework on top of dependencies I'd never heard of.  So far so good.  Which isn't far.

People kindly send us cards.  I've been thinking a card any time of year is better than no card at all.  That could get me sending cards again, any time, to anyone.

Speaking of which, our partial reunion (good turnout) of Two Dickinson Street early denizens, the 1979-80 interlude, and others who knew Tom, was galvanizing.  I'd already accepted Swarthmore's invitation but couldn't shake my curiosity, and indeed Princeton proved a deep well.  One could say I'm still at the bottom, but that sounds too unfortunate.

I won't reiterate everything I've been saying on Youtube, or on Medium, here on Blogger.  Much to mull over.  Is this really the dawning of an Aquarian Age?  The most recent great conjunction has gotten a lot of people thinking in terms of astrological patterns.  When it comes to judging the mood of our times, and its potential, we need watchful analysts.  What it says on your business card, will vary.

Carol allows herself turkey ham (a turkey thing) but rarely, and Christmas qualifies.  We also have the usual supplies.  Our area is not in any kind of complete lockdown, but we do have our protocols.  Today I avoided any shopping.

Tuesday, December 08, 2020

Political Speculations

I could be wrong, but it seems now that Flynn is out of the penalty box, he's on Trump's team, vicariously, through his lawyer, giving free reign to the kinds of fantasies we were worried about in the first place.

I've been in General Flynn's corner all this time, thinking the Deep State was too heavy handed, one criminal syndicate versus another, tip-toeing around all the broken laws, trying to do sneak attacks in broad daylight.

Had the FBI been more restrained and had Flynn been let loose on the world stage, the shit woulda hit the fan from other angles. I'm not going to speculate.  OK a little: he probably woulda gone after Gulen as a favor to Turkey, but who knows.  I sure don't.

Now that we've had a reset, with the FBI duly chastened, Russiagate discredited, and Flynn free to spin spy stories, I think we're revisiting the start of the Trump term, with a lot of chaos and proofs of loyalty. 

However, with the four years behind, instead of ahead, the loyalty proofs aren't so evident.

The think tanks based in DC, with their aging oligarch Foundations, haven't necessarily kept up to date. Spreading the Deep State around the world was the name of the game starting a long time ago.  

I agree with those proclaiming the world is multi-polar.  Indeed it is.  Call it an NWO (New World Order) if you want to, I'm not sure anyone will care.

Friday, December 04, 2020

Sister City: Shiraz

Here's a project some municipal authorities were working on during the hiatus of hostilities between great powers, Portland and Iran.  

That hiatus continues, as PDX has in no way affiliated itself with the thug policies of The District.  The District sent its thugs to beat us down.  They failed, and went home, sniveling.

Let's find something on Facebook....

Regarding decentralization and a certain video that's popular these days in some circles, I wrote:

[M]aybe that's how it is now. Council of Mayors has no problem with Portland (PDX) developing its Sister City relationship with Shiraz (Iran). We don't ask Pompeo's retinue of losers whether this is OK. We inform the central government, don't seek its guidance (on matters of global strategy, we don't need The District telling us how to negotiate relationships).