Random Thoughts


Random Thoughts

Are the bees back? We hear that the bee population is waxing and waning and the result could be catastrophic. I looked around my back yard and an entire flock (herd, group, covey) no its a swarm of bees were happily pollinating my flowers. I hadn’t seen that many in years. (A quick Google check shows that the ‘bee die off’ is not happening and all is right with the bee world.)

Keeping with the above, did you ever notice that bad things get great press (bee die off, a shot polar bear, global warming) but you never hear about good things (bees not dying, great reduction in hurricanes, polar bear population thriving). Frustrating, isn’t it.

Speaking of something back. For years there were no small birds (sparrows, etc) in our neighborhood. They are back.

I remember when I was a kid (over six decades ago) that in the summertime it was very hot. I lived just north of LA and the temperatures were in the 100s virtually every day between July and October. There were no screaming headlines, no clutching of pearls and falling on a fainting couch. We just played in the sprinklers, kept the windows open at night, ate popsicles and took weekend trips to the mountains or the beach. Today the world is coming to an end.

Fires. Back in the day I lived half a block from hills that were covered with brush, small trees and the like. Every few years they burned off. My dad and I would get out the hoses and wet down our roof. I remember seeing large tornado like winds blowing in the middle of the firestorm. It was scary. But very few people built their houses in those areas. And the ones that did cleared the brush a good 50 yards away from the structure. The fires were there, a part of nature, but they weren’t disastrous. Since they burned off the brush every few years, they just were. Today, we have prevented the fires so often that when they do cut loose, there are 40 years of brush and deadwood. Fires love that.

I drive around LA and see houses cantilevered on the hill sides. They are hanging there like climbers who have dropped their safety lines. Then we have a fire and the hills are denuded. Then the rains come and wash away the dirt under the houses and they end up in the valley and people are sitting on their destroyed roofs wondering what happened.

I don’t like to fly any more. I do it because its part of my job, I just don’t like it. Actually the flying part isn’t too bad (I have enough miles to get a seat with 18 inches of knee space rather than 12) but the rest is hell. It starts with parking, then TSA, then the waiting area (even the club rooms are jammed with people), then the interminable wait for your luggage, it never seems to end. Remember the good old days when everyone dressed up to fly. Kids were entranced. Your fellow travelers were polite. Today, not so much. Maybe if everyone was required to wear a tie or a nice dress or suit.

Why do they play loud music in restaurants? Isn’t the idea of a meal out to be able to talk to the person who came with you? Ok, I’m deaf, but do I really want to pay a couple of hundred dollars for dinner for two and not be able to hear the person next to me.

I just read the notes above. I have morphed into a curmudgeon. Yikes.



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John Van Horn

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