Friday, September 9, 2016

TRUMP'S TAXES

TRUMP'S TAXES

     I'm trying to develop an exhaustive list of possibilities - why Trump won't release his tax returns.

His income is less than he claims.
His tax liability and bracket are much lower than expected.
His income and assets are sheltered or hidden in offshore accounts.
He is in partnership with unsavory characters.
He has made illegal contributions from his political accounts.
His investments are tanking.
His bankruptcies are more numerous than expected and involve more money than known.
His charity donations are small.

Monday, November 23, 2015

Fix the Eagles

I am a musician.  I played the cello in many orchestras and in occasional recitals. I see a similarity between orchestra,  and team sports.  In orchestras, all the musicians play together to make a complete sound.  And yet, if one instrument is out of tune, out of time, or out of sync, the entire orchestra ensemble sounds terrible.

Ask any musician if he practices and the answer has to be the familiar one:  if I miss one day, I know it; if I miss two days, the critics know it; and if I miss three days the audience knows it.

The football players have an ironclad contract that limits the amount of group practice.  But, there don't appear to be any restrictions on individual practices.

For instance, musicians practice scales, arpeggios, and finger exercises.  Football players should practice the equivalences:  running, bench pressing, and tackling.  These are the same as scale, arpeggios, and finger exercises for musicians.  The more they practice, the better they will be.

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Paris is still the city of light

Once you get by the blood, explosions, vitriol, death and injuries and can look at the background scenes of buildings, streets, and the streetscapes you can see the Paris that the great Impressionists painted  No wonder they were so thrilled with the settings and it's also no wonder that they wanted to congregate in Paris.  And it is the light.  Not the light of Edison, but the light of nature.  .

Wednesday, September 9, 2015

Birthday Breakfast

    I made a special birthday breakfast for myself today - my "Music Man" birthday.  I eat oatmeal to try to control my cholesterol; but, I do not like oatmeal.  I especially dislike the odor that oatmeal emits  when it is cooking; so I figured out a noncooking method that I can tolerate. I pour the raw oats into a bowl (1/2 cup of the oats) and add raisins, unsweetened pure cocoa powder to the bowl and then cook it all, in the bowl, with hot coffee.  I can eat it if I manage to add enough fruit so that every mouthful has at least one piece of fruit - cut up nectarines, peaches, plums, some grapes, sometimes even cantaloupe.  But I still don't like it.  And, I eat this every other morning.  The other mornings, I eat an egg white omelet with cut up mushrooms and peppers.

     This morning. I cut up the veggies the way I usually do, and cooked them as usual but I covered the pan to create some veggie liquid and soften the veggies.  Finally, I put 4 tablespoons of tomato puree in the bowl with the egg whites; added some water to the mixture and 1/2 cup of the raw oats.  I beat it all together, poured it over the veggies, cooked the omelet as usual, and enjoyed it.  I finally found a way I can eat oatmeal.  I will still continue with the oatmeal, chocolate, coffee, and fruit every other day but, from now on, my omelets will be oatmeal too.

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Mauna Kea and the new construction of a telescope

     I think that the people who are protesting modern development and construction on Mauna Kea on the Big Island of Hawaii are misguided.  Undoubtedly, the land is sacred - but all land has sacred values; not to be misused for pure profit, but for the betterment of all people.

     Surely, the Polynesians who suffered through storms, hunger, floods, and other calamities were searching for a better life for generations and generations to come.  They revered the environment and looked to nature for guidance.

     Now, the modern beneficiaries of their courage and free thinking seek ways to continue the natural progression of life. Building a large telescope on Mauna Kea honors the ancestors. What do you think they would say if their parents and grandparents stopped their daredevil  voyages in the name of progress.

     Building the large telescope with all the implications of discovery would, no doubt, honor the memories of the ancestors.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

The Donald and Me

    When he descended on that elevator, I was listening for Burt Parks' rendition of "Here She Is, Miss America."  All Trump really needed was a tiara on his pouffy hair and a long, jewel encrusted gown.

     And then he spoke about his dreams for the future, and his xenophobic comments and racist diatribes would have eliminated him from the contest.  He would never win the prize for congeniality.

     Trump reminded me of a person I knew who also had no qualifications and no experience in running for any office, let alone a national one.  This person actually appeared as a viable candidate on the primary ballot.  The calls went out for donations and I was bombarded by questions.  My advice - open your window; picture dollar bills floating down to the street; and determine how much you can afford to throw away.

     The similarities - they both provide conic relief in a tense world.  We need all the comic relief we can get.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

San Quentin prison break

     On one of our trips to San Francisco, we took the ferry to Napa Valley and passed San Quentin prison.  One of the hostesses on the ferry told us that she was babysitting at the time of a prison break and she was frightened.  She said that she armed herself with a bottle of hair spray and a hair brush and didn't move from the front door until the prisoners were caught.

     While she was telling us that story, she got nervous all over again.  Her face paled, her speech became more rapid, and her breathing was heavier.  Then, she got herself a drink of water and sat down with us and became calm again.

     We are reminded of this story because of the prison break in New York - but son't worry, we have our hair spray right at hand,