Things have been pretty quiet here in Camp Connell, my home town. But that doesn't mean nothing at all has been happening.
-- The governor announced, and the legislature may go along with, shutting down 80% of the state parks to save money in the budget crunch. He acts like parks don't employ real people-- just scientists, interpreters, law enforcers, and maintenance folks. Here in one of the smaller counties in the biggest state the local park draws 300,000 tourists a year and generates more than double the expenses in the local economy. Everybody is mad at him about something, and now I am joining the angry throng. What can he be thinking?
-- The weather has been unusual for the first week of June. Temps in the 40s in the morning, with a fair amount of rain, even thunder and lightening. I think I lived in this part of the world almost ten years before I ever heard the sound of thunder. What's up with that? Can I blame this on George Bush and the GOP?
-- Thinking about the state park, and the weather, I was on volunteer duty yesterday on the slightly wet trail through the giant Sequoias when I noticed that some visitor left a just-emptied beer bottle hidden under a bench, rather than take it to a trash or recycle bin. His mother raised an idiot. Enjoy nature and dump your trash for folks to admire?
-- We supported the national economic recovery this week by purchasing a brand new car. It's another Subaru Forester, the best snow/ice vehicle for the mountains. And then I discovered they put bigger and fancier wheels on the new car and our almost-brand-new snow tires won't fit. Zapped by the fashion mavens of the auto industry. Why would they do that?
-- Went to a musical today at the historical Fallon Playhouse in Columbia State Park (another place that may close) to see a performance about the Andrews Sisters. Lots of music, dance, attractive young women who sing well, and a very funny man (the only male in the play). The costumes were great. The dancing right on the mark. The singing was absolutely first rate, and the humor had the entire audience rocking. But I made the mistake of reading two reviews in local newspapers. They were luke warm, pointing out that the audience was older (which it almost always is), and even though it was pretty good, the audience (being older, I assume) didn't leap to its collective feet and make the house thump. Don't these part-time reviewers understand there actually was good music before Eminem?
-- A right-wing loudmouth, who didn't notice how the last national election turned out, is trying to take over local websites that report news. He comments on every item regarding state or national government, usually quoting misinformation heard on talk radio and insulting elected officials by accusing them of being Marxist Commie Pinkos. Anyone who disagrees he calls a fool, and he is getting uglier all the time. It has the effect of spoiling useful public forums. He also is testing my boundless belief in unlimited free speech, but I'll stick with it so far. What sort of manners do you suppose he has at the dinner table?
He would certainly qualify for the "ISMISOB" award.
Many years ago my wife and another woman worked in a Cape Canaveral NASA office dominated by older males who thought they were very important. When the men got out of line and the ladies who did the real work could not take it any more, the women had a little ceremony. They delivered a brass and wooden plaque with "ISMISOB" stamped on the face to the egregious offender. It took the guys a while to figure out that the initials stood for "Inconsiderate Self Made Insufferable Son Of a Bitch."*
They got the message.
I have to be very careful not to move from the "merely grouchy" category to something deserving a plaque.
(Added late: I just learned some numbers this morning that REALLY make me grouchy. From the New York Times:
"According to a 2008 survey of physician salaries by the American Medical Group Association, their average annual salary is $201,555, versus $356,166 for a general surgeon and $614,536 for a neurological surgeon."
Now THAT explains a lot about why we have a health care problem.)