Off the Record (March 29, 2017)
by AVA News Service, March 29, 2017
AN HBO casting call for “men and woman of all shapes, sizes and ethnicities,” as well as children over the age of 6, is echoing throughout the star-struck sectors of the Mendo population to work as nonunion background extras for an HBO film series. If interested, interviews are scheduled April 8 from 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Ukiah Valley Conference Center on School Street. Filming begins in May.
THIS EPIC stars Amy Adams, and you’ll have to check with a young ‘un to ID her, is clearly well-funded. $84 for eight hours, with overtime pay kicking in after the first eight, meals provided for the expected long hours.
LAST TUESDAY MORNING NPR broadcast a report on something called the "Happiness Index." As the NPR interviewer burbled and gushed suitably idiotic questions for an idiotic subject, an academic drone earnestly explained that America's collective smiley-face quotient had slipped to, I think, 13th place in the world, well behind those infamous single-payer hell holes Sweden and Canada, whose citizens say they’re so gol durned happy they frequently burst into song.
NPR being NPR, we got the usual NPR "balance," brief comments from a wholly happy woman, a medium happy woman, and a man who said he had been happy until Trump was elected but now felt acute anxiety. Of course, the NPR demographic is heavy on the upper incomes where the unhappiness standard is a botched latte.
NPR has always been heavy on this kind of fluff, but it got this particular feeb thinking about Mendo happiness, national happiness being far beyond my meager abilities to judge, not that I can offer anything but vague impressions on in-County well-being. Overall, I'd say we mostly seem to be having a fairly good time of it. The unhappy people I know often suffer from what seem to me self-induced miseries, not that they're any less painful to the sufferer than, say, some guy whose ass falls off and forever disappears. We have an awful lot of self-medicators — too often considered a sign of psychic pain by teetotalers especially, but they're a minority, albeit a growing minority, and I don't know anyone pleased with national developments. My happiness bar is set pretty low. Like most people, so long as me and mine are sheltered, eating, healthy, and want the same for everyone else, this is as good as it's going to get.
THE NEW COUNTY COURTHOUSE, moving inexorably to the day our nine judges, grinning like it's a great day for justice in Mendocino County, each holding a tiny commemorative golden shovel, turn over a teensy spade full of dirt, and an outside construction firm will commence erecting a steel and glass eyesore near the foot of West Perkins, Ukiah.
FEW PEOPLE are aware that this huge boondoggle is underway, and if they do know they assume the entire courthouse operation — the DA and every other court-related office, is moving, too. Nope. The new courthouse consists of courtrooms and, natch, lush "chambers" for each of their majesties and a few much more austere offices for court. Everything else presently in the Courthouse stays where it is.
AND NO EIR. When CostCo announced it wanted to open a big box in Ukiah down by 101 with the other big boxes, the "activists" came pouring out of Mendocino Environment Center demanding, then suing, that CostCo submit to an EIR. The new county courthouse? No EIR. Not a peep from anybody except former Ukiah city councilman Red Phil Baldwin, who has pointed out that moving the courts three long blocks to the east will seriously harm what's left of central Ukiah's small businesses. The present Ukiah city council? All systems go.
WE'VE WRITTEN to Fort Bragg City Manager, Linda Ruffing, and 4th District supervisor, Dan Gjerde, asking them to tell the world exactly what is going on at the old mill site. A week later, no replies.
(WELL, GEE, BRUCE. Why should poor Linda talk to you, of all people, after all the abuse heaped on the poor thing and her martyred boyfriend, Richard Shoemaker. Answer: Because she's paid to answer questions from the public, or refer us to someone who can answer the question. Gjerde is usually responsive, but maybe everyone is just hoping the site can be raffled off and its poisoned soils cordoned off or trucked outtahere before all the busybodies can mobilize. Besides which, our criticism of Ms. R has been over public matters; it hasn't been personal. She seems like a Nice Person, maybe even a nice person. Frankly, to get personal here, I think like a lot of high ability, smart women, Ruffing looked around at her all-male city council and said to herself, Jesu Cristo! either I take charge here or the whole goddam town will fall into the Pacific.)
WOODY HARRELSON, 55, has given up dope. The actor says he hasn't smoked pot in nearly a year. Harrelson cites "30 solid years" on the pipe for his decision to quit. He also says he felt like the drug was "keeping me from being emotionally available." Still, he has nothing bad to say about marijuana, which he calls "a great drug." He says he still drinks alcohol in moderation.
THE LOCAL ANGLE: For most of the 1990s, Harrelson paid for a subscription to Boonville's beloved weekly for his father. Harrelson Sr. was doing life without in federal prison for assassinating a federal judge
MIKE KOEPF WRITES: "I hardly ever listen to KZYX, but last night driving home from the coast, I happened to tune in to a debate of prospective board members. Thinking that this would put me asleep at the wheel, I started to tune out, when some guy by the name of John Sackowick (?) running for the board, commented that the station needed to expand its local listening base. He suggested that you, Mark, and KC Meadows know more than anyone else about what is really going on in the county and that all of you should have your own programs on KZYX. The suggestion did not go over well with the other candidates, but I was amazed that he made it
ED NOTE: Invoking us was a kind of audio Hail Mary by Sakowicz. Sako's obviously the only candidate who would at least try to put the public into Mendocino Public Radio but, as a former trustee of that most untrustworthy organization when he functioned as the board's fiscal guy, and couldn't ever get access to the station's books, which may be a first in American organizational politics, the smiley faces have had their long knives out for him. The guy's candidacy is doomed for Only In Mendo zoological reasons, which we'll get to. Anyway, during his futile romp as trustee, Sako's insistence that the station play by its own rules naturally estranged the cringing Mendo muffins who dominate station affairs, especially a pair of castrati called John Coate and Stuart Campbell. (There's some question as to whether Coate and Campbell arrived in Philo with their nuts shrink-wrapped but still more or less functional, or were immediately de-balled by a fiercely unhappy woman named Aigner, who ran the place for years before leaving to take full-time employment in the dope industry. Sako's mention by name of only three non-personed persons out of fifty or so banned locals doubly dooms his candidacy. He can't possibly be elected because, as I often say, and here's the zoology, Mendolib is like one of those hermaphroditic sea creatures, endlessly re-creating itself. Replace every single person at KZYX and you still get Meg Courtney. Forever.
KNYO, the micro radio station out of Fort Bragg, by way of contrast, held the liveliest radio debate ever in Mendocino County. As soon as Rex Gressett and Paul McCarthy started debating the proposed shopping center at Hare Creek at 5 o'clock Wednesday afternoon, I knew immediately I wasn't listening to constipated KZYX, where a discussion like this simply isn't possible. These two guys are radio naturals. Sorry, I didn't get the young host's name, but he was good, too. The argument moved right along with a lot of accompanying banter that was great fun. So, who won? McCarthy on points, I'd say, but Gressett made the best possible case for keeping the area as is. Best line? McCarthy: "Fort Bragg has all the architectural imagination of a shoe box." Praise be to Dunlap Roofing for sponsoring the best radio hour I've ever heard in Mendocino County.
YOUTUBE VIDEO of the McCarthy-Gressett Hare Creek Grocery Outlet debate in case you missed it. (Thanks to Susie de Castro for suggesting the link): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gUyrS2qqnB0&feature=youtu.be
THE MAJOR ADDS: The Gressett-McCarthy Hare Creek Grocery Outlet debate was another local version of the eternal argument about legal property rights and the limits of development. The late Mike Shapiro always argued that land should be put to the “highest and best use” — which in Anderson Valley, realtor Shapiro said, was wall to wall wine grapes because that’s what produces the highest property values. Never mind that wall to wall wine grapes destroys the character of the valley in favor of an overpriced booze-generating, pesticide laden, labor-exploiting, water-guzzling, critter-killing monoculture. Years ago, my old school Republican father, exasperated by all the complaints in the AVA about industrial timber practices and wine grape production, once asked me, “What the hell do you want, anyway?”
I replied, “It would be nice if the people of the Valley could democratically vote on how big vineyards could be, or how many total acres they could plant, or how much timber could be harvested in a year.”
My father immediately came back with, “Do you know what that would do to property values? To investment? To property rights?”
I replied, “Yes, that’s what’s good about it.”
We never agreed on the subject — and in a similar manner we don’t expect Mr. Gressett and Mr. McCarthy (who both make good arguments) to ever agree. But long-term, Gressett is right: Putting a perfectly legal big box store on the beautiful coastal headlands south of Fort Bragg is one more cumulative nail in the commercial coffin that Fort Bragg is becoming, step by inevitable step.
ANOTHER overflow crowd Tuesday at the Supes for… You guessed it: marijuana. The Supervisors finally got the Medical Marijuana Cultivation Regulation done, i.e., defining precisely where outside the incorporated areas of the county the miracle drug can be grown. During the back and forth over the regs, every possible nit was picked and, without unpicking them all for you, resolution was finally achieved. Details are available at the County Administration Building or your supervisor. The thing comes back for a final vote on its adoption as an ordinance on April 4th.
FOUR TIMES I’ve asked the Sheriff's Department for the report on the following. I'll ask every coupla months, I guess, until I chip enough of the stone wall away so Captain Van Patten hears my plaintive call for, sob, closure. Just in: Van Patten says he turned it over to a person whose job it is to look for stuff:
"AVA, October 12, 2016, MAYOR TURNER'S SUMMER ADVENTURE. Back in August, Dave Turner, Fort Bragg's lightning rod mayor, placed a frantic late night 911 call from deep in the Noyo woods. Turner and family had been enjoying a tranquil stay in and among the old, but still serviceable cabins once available to Union Lumber families, then Georgia-Pacific families. Before the collapse of one of the tunnels on the Skunk Line, local people could ride the train back and forth to the idyllic site, which hasn't been regularly in use for some years now, especially since the tunnel collapse. To get out there today requires a meandering journey through several locked gates that begins on the A&W logging road out of South Fort Bragg near the police station. That route is, in itself, a ride back through time, passing through what was a bustling little community called Finn Town or Soinala. The mayor being the mayor, Turner had the gate combos and, of course, he could enjoy the camp. But the times being either “unsettled” or "way outta control," depending on the degree of your alarm at what seems to be social collapse, the camp is often visited, and perhaps even enjoyed by "transients" and/or tweekers, of whom Fort Bragg has more than its share. Long story short: There's no story, or not much of one, and one wonders why the cops and the mayor himself don't just tell us what the heck happened. Which was, two tweekers, home grown Fort Bragg boys, well- known to law enforcement, showed up at the Turner camp. Frightened at their appearance, Turner called for help. The tweekers tweeked off, and that was it. End of story. We're still waiting for the Sheriff's Department to release their "findings," which may or may not include the names of the tweeks.
THE ON AGAIN, off again casino and hotel project long planned for the tiny rez north of Ukiah less than two miles from the existing casino just up 101 at the hostile rez, is apparently on again, and if you know exactly how many casinos there are in Mendocino County, existing or planned, you count better than we do. Let's see, we've got one at Hopland; got one in Ukiah and one planned for Ukiah; got one in Willits; got one in Laytonville; got one in Point Arena; got one planned for Elk, with former Supervisor Norm de Vall's house across the street being gussied up as an accompanying b&b; and we even have one in Covelo for the ten old ladies over there who feed the slots every day with their social security checks.
MEANWHILE, not even an hour south of Hopland, whose casino is already hurting from the competition from the casino in Geyserville, we have the mammoth, Vegas-like, casino-hotel at Graton, which has halved the previous casino business at Geyserville.
HEALDSBURG'S scrappy second sacker, state senator. Mike 'Mikey' McGuire got off a presser the other day that says his proposed $3 billion housing bond has been approved by his pals in his committee.
“We have an affordable and workforce housing crisis in California, and the state needs to step up and provide the resources and long-term investments needed to get this housing built in communities big and small. This bond will help secure homeownership for thousands of California families and finance tens of thousands of units up and down the Golden State.”
McGuire represents all of the North Coast counties, including Mendocino, Humboldt, Lake and Sonoma, and reports that he wanted to ensure rural counties and small cities would benefit from these funds.
IF, BY SOME FLUKE, it ever happens, here's where the money will go:
• $300 million (10 percent) to CalHome. This program provides grants to local public agencies and nonprofit developers to assist individual households through deferred-payment loans. This program tends to be a favorite in more rural communities because it can be used for both programs and projects for a variety of homeownership activities – new construction, acquisition/rehab, self-help such as Habitat for Humanity, rehabilitation, mobile home park improvements, etc.
• $300 million (10 percent) Farmworker Housing Program. This program finances the new construction, rehabilitation and acquisition of owner-occupied and rental units for agricultural workers, with a priority for lower income households.
• $1.5 billion (50 percent) Multifamily Housing Program. The Multifamily Housing Program assists the new construction, rehabilitation and preservation of permanent and transitional rental housing for lower-income households through loans to local governments and non- and for-profit developers. Under MHP regulations, 20 percent must go to rural areas.
• $300 million (10 percent) Local Housing Trust Fund Matching Grant Program. This provides matching grants to local governments and non-profits that raise money for affordable housing.
GOT A HOLLOW LAUGH out of a recent story in the Chron about a "drug round-up" at the Civic Center Bart Station. I walked the length of Market Street a couple of days after the alleged drug bust, and from Van Ness to around Third and Market it's the usual open-air felony show. Factor in the free range mental cases, drop-fall drunks, the miscellaneous incompetents, and circus-quality freaks, and I'm tellin' ya this country's slo-mo collapse is all right there in about eight blocks. Odd, though, it never seems menacing, at least to me. I'm not saying my stately bulk deters physical assault, but I know lots of people, women included, who say the same thing usually, though, with this caveat: "After dark that whole stretch of the City That Knows How, is a definite no-go zone." Conservatives claim the cops are intimidated from enforcing the law by a lot of bad "excessive force" publicity from the libs, but that stretch of Market has been drug city for years now. I think lower Market and the Tenderloin (now being kinda up-marketed as the trendo-groove-o's move in), are the way they are because the cops are in triage mode. It's not like they ignore open air drug dealing and the rest of the arrest-quality aberrant behavior on full display, it's because there's no place to put them all. Frisco has been in Catch and Release mode for years now. And the low-level mopes know it. (Ditto for Mendo, actually. Ditto for everywhere, double actually.)
HEY! I know I'm old and cranky, but what's the deal with modern movie kisses? Even in the more quality productions young couples run at each with their jaws seemingly dropped to their waists and, open-mouthed as if for root canal, commence grinding mutual molars. Compare today's filmic cannibal gnashings to, I dunno, Clark Gable and Vivian Leigh in Gone With The Wind… And, natch, we always get the obligatory nude rasslin' in contemporary movies to make sure we understand the couple has gone from dental combat to sexual intercourse. Jeez! We get it, ok?
AT A TIME our government — any government, I suppose — can spy on citizens through their television sets and telephones, we want to assure our on-line readers that at least their logins are secure at our site (https). No longer will you all be pestered by those "insecure" warnings some of you complained about. Insecurity itself.... Nothing we can do about that.
NOTE TO FICTION EDITOR, The New Yorker magazine: I have a suggestion for you snowflakes: fire your literary editors for starters, and I'll bet there's at least a dozen of them, and instead of the provocatively awful poetry and fiction selected by these caponized feebs, stick to the masters of yesteryear, like the F. Scott Fitzgerald story you ran a couple of issues ago. Congratulations on at least having the sense to dip into the archive for good writing. I may be premature here, but it's certainly a welcome change from the Swarthmore creative lit you seem partial to. So, how about permanently confining yourselves to short fiction written before 1970 except, of course, Richard Ford, Thomas McGuane, Sherman Alexie and a few others I'd be happy to name for you.
CASE IN POINT, The New Yorker of 27 March contains a poem so resoundingly un-poetic it makes Ashbery read like Wordsworth. This thing made me so angry I had to go for a walk before I was calm enough to watch COPS:
Nature that wants to fill in
the gap the Falls
falls in and the eye falls
extends a bewildering
eye & in its in
less a widen
ing makes than what my
mind made too much
of when you
planted a tree in it.
IF THIS is a poem for your boyfriend, Michele, you're lucky he didn't plant an axe in your head. I think I copied it exactly as it was preciously arrayed on the page, but crimenently, this kind of anti-poetry shouldn't be encouraged. Assuming this is a love poem, and I'll have to check my perception with Mendo's arbiter of the finer things, Gordy Black, but here's a love poem by Robert Creeley that's accessible and affecting:
Love comes quietly,
about me, on me,
in the old ways.
What did I know
able to go
alone all the way.
ASSUMING Ms. Glazer's poem is more or less inspired by ee cummings, here's the master of eccentric poetics, also on the subject of love:
i carry your heart with me (i carry it in
my heart) i am never without it (anywhere
i go you go, my dear; and whatever is done
by only me is your doing, my darling)
no fate (for you are my fate, my sweet) i want
no world (for beautiful you are my world, my true)
and it’s you are whatever a moon has always meant
and whatever a sun will always sing is you
here is the deepest secret nobody knows
(here is the root of the root and the bud of the bud
and the sky of the sky of a tree called life; which grows
higher than soul can hope or mind can hide)
and this is the wonder that's keeping the stars apart
i carry your heart (i carry it in my heart)
THIS ISN'T roses are red violets are blue, and it takes a couple of run throughs to get it, but the getting is good and worth the effort.
THE SHORT STORY is unreadable, but I dropped out after the pretentious title, "Herman Melville, Volume I" and the first few lines: "She's carrying two skateboards, two backpacks, the banjo in its scratched-up case…"
THE MARCH 27TH ISSUE did contain a terrific pieced by Jane Mayer (she's always good) called, "Trump's Money Man — How Robert Mercer, a reclusive hedge-fund tycoon, exploited America's populist insurgency."
THIS GUY MERCER, and his crazed daughters, think the Koch Brothers are too soft and ineffective with the placement of their money in various neo-fascist causes and candidates. The Mercers are investing directly in evil and, Mayer informs us, basically bought Trump the White House. Must read for anyone counting down The Last Days.
ON LINE COMMENTS OF THE WEEK
(1) Look, in the last century we were blessed by having a land which had lots of raw materials – minerals, wood, good farmland – and not too many natural disasters and relatively decent climate. Also, because of the distances involved, we avoided the disaster of WWII within our borders. What a big advantage! So, to a large extent, the US was favored by the gods. Only to a lesser degree was the country’s superior performance based upon prowess of brawn or brain. So what have we done in this century? We effectively rewrote history by creating a meme. That meme is that our success is because we have a cadre of “geniuses” who are so ineffably smart they can turn lead into gold. No wonder we are so successful – that’s the tacit logic. Basically, we created a fantasy to explain our former superior situation. This is an easy sell to the masses. That’s in the nature of fantasies. The consequence to this is the emergence of a plethora of rackets that use the aforementioned meme as a justification. For example, Education has morphed into credentialing. The “anointed experts/geniuses” get to parcel out the credentials and, not incidentally, collect huge “fees” for this. Finance has morphed into a collection of schemes (devised by yet more “geniuses”) sufficiently complex to cloak their nefarious underpinnings. Health care, which peddles imaginary “cures” which simply require the patients’ participation in a never-never land of shiny, expensive equipment (“state-of-the-art”, of course) and no self-discipline from the patient (note: 80% of our ills are the result of lifestyle choices.) – all this carefully orchestrated by the “Doctors”, the inscrutable gods of medicine (gods are also “geniuses, in case you’re wondering). So instead of using our largely undeserved largess to create a sustainable, better world for ourselves and others, we’ve gradually devolved into chicanery and charlatanism.
(2) Note: 80% of our ills are the result of lifestyle choices.)”
Too much magic I would say.
I suppose you have to say , ” lifestyle choices ” because if you try to get any more specific the whole thing very quickly devolves into complete absurdity.
At least 80% of the population does NOT smoke anymore.
At least 60% does NOT drink any more. Of those who do still drink, with draconian DWI laws, the large majority of those are restricted to drinking only when they aren’t mobile.
Since even the most mundane tasks in this landscape require you to go mobile, that puts rather a significant crimp in that activity.
To grow tobacco, ship it, manufacture it into cigarettes, and still make a very generous profit, a pack of cigarettes would still only cost about 40 cents.
Are there any products or activities more outrageously taxed than tobacco and alcohol?
A great many people never the less die from smoking and drinking, and I’m sure you cry buckets of tears over these people, EXCEPT when you are complaining about over-population.
Pornography is every bit as fantastic as Disney princess movies.
At least one-sixth of my generation are clearly slated to live out their lives as old maids and old bachelors.
The number one actual reason for not having children seems to be to conserve what little wealth you still have. Never the less, such children as these people are having will still not be as affluent as their predecessors.
All of this is to say that I suspect the sexual revolution has produced far more celibates and near-celibates than the Middle Ages ever did.
In that light, beating the Catholic Church over the head with Humana Vitae is downright comedic.
That leaves us with the bad lifestyle choices being cheese doodles, burgers, and pizza.
So, presumably, it is a terrible thing that we do not adopt the diet of medieval serfs , with gruel for breakfast, gruel for lunch, and gruel for dinner.
As for those people who don’t smoke, drink, screw, or eat pizza, they are typically wound so tight that their company can never be tolerated but briefly.
Perhaps they will live to be 80 or 90, but secretly you wish they would drop dead , like, yesterday.
Perhaps THEY will live, but LIVING WITH THEM is another story.
By the way, notice that those who advocate the diet and lifestyle of medieval serfs , never remotely resemble medieval serfs in any way.
(3) Union Pacific has big yellow diesel locomotives with American flag and “BUILDING AMERICA” emblazoned on the sides of the engines…
Unfortunate sidebar of the Union Pacific business plan is deliberate removal of trackside warehouses and old stations not in their modus operandi for Port to-Port movement of containers….
Right now Colfax, California has a 19,000 square foot warehouse structure, an insulated warehouse named “COLFAX FRUIT GROWERS ASSOCIATION 1931” This was receiving warehouse for fruit and vegetables brought in by the Nevada County Narrow Gauge for storage and move across to other side to load aboard Southern Pacific Lines “Pacific Fruit Express” and “Fruit Growers Express” refrigerator cars. stocked with ice at Roseville and destined for far places.
Union Pacific Real Estate Department minions are bound by habit or policy to find excuse to remove such vestiges of the past wherever the remain. The City of Colfax has expressed interest in working with the Giant Yellow monster living on parallel bars to make the warehouse safe from asbestos and work out a lease for a long term use as commercial floor space. The roof needs repair and other code issues need attention, but asbestos removal has condemned the building.
James Kunstler often mentions loss of small-town railway connection as significant component of “Hollowing Out” of America’s bone and sinew. Well, here is textbook, real-time example! Union Pacific claims no place for a structure not tuned to long-haul containers. It is a disappointing thing to see very large amounts of pears and apples not going to market or being used in beverages due to loss of high volume shipping capability offered when this Fruit Growers Building was in routine use. Truth is, Union Pacific is now moving growing numbers of white “ARM” “American Refrigerated Merchandise” boxcars, So far, not enough of these new generation reefers exist to fit in the smaller load sites like Colfax.
Sacramento area had multiple food processing and even can and box manufacturing to fill thousands of rail carloads a year. This loss of food shipment by rail should concern strategic planners because woe be to us when natural/ manmade disaster or sabotage stifles motor & airborne food distribution. This demolition, one loadsite at a time is cumulative, stealthy sabotage still taking place..
Railway in mid-20th Century had a strategic moniker: “Second Dimension Surface Transport Logistics Platform”. This definition gains meaning again after we are laid low by any number of .very determined Asian and Middle East bad boys biding their time, brazenly and openly promising harm to America.
The Colfax warehouse is only one, but seems like a good place to draw the line. Anybody near Colfax CA got some bitcoin to put into a tangible asset not susceptible to Electromagnetic pulse vaporizing? Repair the roof and be a landlord while the fruit and vegetable boxcars catch up! Part of American Food Security.
(4) Let’s summarize. We are currently in the visible “meltdown phase” of governance. Meaning that governance has been progressively dissolving for years, but now it’s becoming obvious to even the dimmest of the dim. “Let all of the poisons that lurk in the mud, hatch out.” Well, now they are hatching out. Those that have been paying attention are not surprised.
(5) Honestly, I think getting cashiered would probably be the best thing for Trump himself. I don’t think he ever really wanted to be president, he just said some things that resonated with a very angry and disaffected faction of the electorate, and his vain, shallow, narcissistic ego caused him to be swept away on the tide. If he’s forced out, of course he’ll be very butthurt about it, but I think being in the Oval Office for all four years would ultimately be much worse for him. Whether or not it would be worse for the country I can’t really say, but I sure wouldn’t be surprised if it were so.
(6) It’s hard for me to imagine the near future. There’re so many fuckups possible, why bother to try to figure out which ones will occur? It’s like being given a choice of which way you want to die, by hanging or by firing squad? Either way it will hurt and you will be dead. What I have trouble with, is why am I still feeling positive that things will work out? I can come up with an exhaustive list of reasonably probable terrible events, but almost no good ones – at least for the near and intermediate future. Could I have reached my current old age being so unrealistic? I don’t want to be negative, no matter what – it just doesn’t pay. I’m emotionally ready to accept whatever happens – I think – but I’ll be danged if I run around being depressed. As Sha Na Na said, live for today…