I am a fan of Simple: Conquering the Crisis of Complexity by Alan Siegel and Irene Etzkorn. These policy statements are my understanding of the relationship between us — reader and writer in this stadium of the world-wide-web.
And as I publish under a pseudonym, you may conclude that I value a bit of my own privacy. And likewise, I care for your privacy, so here we go!
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When or if there are changes to this policy, I will change the date above and will include the full updated text with changes notated in a blog post.
Again, readers are valuable, precious, and dear to me. To be read is an honor. Thank you for your time and attention.
I’m going to take the month of February to take two steps back and regroup. I will resume regular reporting from my bleacher seat on Thursday, March 7, 2019. In the interim, I’ll fill this space with mini-posts — videos, pictures, notable quotes by others. Where is, as is.
About two years ago, I began this blog with the intention to post at a minimum of once a week — first Tuesday morning which then migrated to … Thursday morning which has migrated to … not a set schedule.
As I roll around to the two year marker, I would like to take a bit of time off to:
Work on blog post structure and organization. Focus on making a point. Or not.
Work on the site structure and readability. It has come to my attention that reading and navigation on a mobile device is less-than-optimal. Challenging even.
I upgraded to the Premium WordPress package in January so I could post videos. I’d like to further explore and incorporate any features available in this upgrade that would improve the layout and presentation of this site.
While I wait for Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden, and others to take a seat and lead from behind, Nancy Pelosi invited Stacey Abrams to deliver the Democratic response rebuttal to Trump’s State of the Union Address Shout Out To Us All scheduled for February 5, 2019.
Stacey Abrams is the anti-Trump.
Nancy Pelosi is cold. She elevates a DNC up-and-comer while standing heel on Donald T. Her house. Her invite.
Bravo! May other national politicians with lots of experience take note and lead from behind by elevating and mentoring others too.
Hell is frozen.
As temperatures in the Midwest this week compete with the Arctic, we are reminded that hell is hot. Although we need to do a bit more research, our working theory is that hell is hot because the Bible scribes were familiar with hot weather and fire. They were familiar with being burned.
But! If those scribes of olde had been exposed to the extreme Arctic blast of the past few days, refrigeration and cold, we’re certain that hell would be described as a frozen place.
Our theory? Write what you know and Bible authors knew hot and full of burning.
A Very Cold Short Story: To Build a Fire
Jack London wrote sentences that were as clean as a bone and the title is misleading. This story is not about building a fire, but it is COLD.
Rome, Italy – Long ago, there was a huge stadium called Circus Maximus which was used for chariot-racing. According to the Wiki, it held 250,000 spectators. Today it holds a park.
And is the plural of multiple maximus’, maximii? Pronounced: MAX-im-eye? Well, why not? I like it.
Milwaukee, WI – Mr. Viva informed me this morning that the naming rights for the baseball stadium the Milwaukee Brewers call home were purchased by American Family Insurance. And I wonder insurance? But what will we drink?
As I reflect on the genesis of this blog — “I am a people watcher reporting from the bleacher seats” — this renaming news is a healthy reminder that the physical bleacher seats I fondly remember and occupied at Milwaukee County Stadium are gone. They were dozed and replaced by a newer, bigger, better stadium with a retractable roof to accommodate Wisconsin weather.
Bleacher seats move on. Stadiums are replaced. Stadiums are renamed. Change happens.
Rome, Italy – Romans were such big fans of spectacle, they staged full-scale naval battles. For reals.
While standing on Palatine Hill in Rome in 2007, Andrew, our tour guide pointed out the Campus Martius area. Imagine attending the spectator sport of a full-size reenactment of a naval battle on a man-made lake. What to wear? What to wear?
Well, Italians are good at water diversion because they’ve been at it a.long.time. First piece of evidence: ancient staged naval battles.
Milwaukee, WI – I had the great good fortune to be at the new Fiserv Forum on Monday to watch the Milwaukee Bucks play basketball against the Dallas Cowboys Mavericks. Just across the street from this new beautiful stadium was the location for the BMO Harris Bradley Center, aka Bradley Center.
It was only 30 or so years ago when I sat in seats where the air was thin at the Bradley Center. In addition to a couple of basketball games, there was a circus. For the record, aerial acrobats do not seem so daring when you’re looking down on them from the bleacher nosebleed seats.
But those seats are gone too.
Maybe the former Bradley Center site will be a city park. That would be nice.
I have terrific video footage from the game, but WordPress hasn’t recognized my Premium upgrade yet. Heh, heh. WordPress can charge my credit card like a Tesla supercharger but still no video upload, which trust me, it’s terrific, it’s the best, it’s the most beautiful video.
So, in the meantime, enjoy a couple of photos of the Fiserv venue:
The Fiserv Forum capacity is only 17,500 people proving that we’re mere amateurs. Ancient Rome’s Circus Maximus could hold 14 Fiserv Forums although to be fair, the Romans likely weren’t restrained by any consumer protection regulations.
Insert diatribe about the government shutdown going 33 days or into its second month and the Trump non-Administration circus pulling our government apart, risking our security, corrupting international relationships, putting a nuclear football in the hands of a usurper. Super fail for, or of, democracy.
Ann! Thank you for the great experience, food, and Bucks-Mavericks game Monday! (Along with not being able to upload videos, WordPress has also hidden superscript from me. Normally this would be a footnote. Oh well.)
And I’ll attempt to keep it short but politics & religion – it is Sunday, after all, billionaire breakdown, and literature & poetry. Let’s go!
Politics & Religion
Israel envy. The Evangelicals are so behind the Trumpster building his wall because in spite of Jesus, they like the Old Testament Bible, they like Old Testament law, and they are Chosen People and the United States of America is their Promised Land by gumminey.
Meanwhile, the rest of us Philistines just want a solid wall between church and state.
Twenty-nine years later, the estimated daily cost of the government shutdown is about $857,000,000/day and suddenly, $450,000/month seems like a real bargain.
Please, get us out of this art of the deal.
Farming & Rural Rehabilitation. The 2020 Democratic field running to be President will be big and interesting and exciting! Julian Castro, former Secretary of HUD threw his hat in the ring this past week in San Antonio. And we are all of “Bravo!” and he will add nuance and complexity to the conversation.
But what really piqued our interest was the mention of HUD — Housing & Urban Development. With the plunge in the number of small farm operations and the horrific rise in the number of farmers who take their own lives, maybe isn’t it time to devote a department to Farming & Rural Rehabilitation?
Asking for some states.
Billionaire I relate to on Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. Whilst researching the Bezos on the list of Forbes’ billionaires, I was surprised to see names that I instantly recognize because of the product they produce! Giovanni Ferrero of Nutella and chocolate fame, that’s a lot of happiness spread around — was #36 on the list.
Although I can’t relate to the wealth of anyone on any of Forbes lists and poor Mr. Ferrero is only 1/6 of a Jeff Bezos pre-divorce, I can relate to Nutella and chocolate.
Nutella spreads itself across Maslow’s entire hierarchy of needs, and chocolate? It improves my mood.
Mini-billionaire breakdown. I’m recording this for posterity and because I like statistics and numbers and information baby! Some people study astronomy and the movement of planets, stars, galaxies, otherworldly objects. Well, the this-worldly humans on Forbes‘ list also work with astronomical numbers.
Subject to visual inspection and any errors are all my own, out of the top 100 billionaires in the world on Sunday, January 20, 2019:
Jeff Bezos’ worth is down $37B (from $149B) to $112B.
If MacKenzie Bezos gets half in the divorce, and I hope she does, she will be the wealthiest woman in the world. Half of today’s Jeff Bezos worth: $56B.
Being worth a half-Bezos or $56B will put Jeff and MacKenzie between #10 – Larry Ellison ($58.5B) and #11 – Michael Bloomberg ($50B). Still respectable.
10% of the top 100 are currently women. No photos but first names of Dieter and Michael were counted as men. I counted the no-photo Iris as a woman.
Combined worth of the current 10 wealthiest women: $242.9B or ($242.9B/$112B/Jeff Bezos) = 2.16 Bezos. Or 4.33 half-Bezos.
4% of the top 100 are Walton’s of Walmart money — Jim, S. Robson, Alice, and Lukas.
Combined worth of the Waltons: $154B or ($152B/$112B/Bezos) = 1.37 Bezos. Or 2.75 half-Bezos.
31% have US citizenship, 7% are Russian.
That is all on this line of numbering. Make of it what you will. As mentioned previously, I’m an information junkie and I like to mash it up all ways from Sunday for no good reason other than, why not?
Literature & Poetry
What was Margaret Atwood thinking? Politics trigger warning. I’m reading The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood, published 1986 by Anchor Books. This week I read these horrific sentences which are as clean as a bone:
“It was after the catastrophe, when they shot the president and machine-gunned the Congress and the army declared a state of emergency. They blamed it on the Islamic fanatics, at the time.
Keep calm, they said on television. Everything is under control.”
Wait, there’s more:
“That was when they suspended the Constitution. They said it would be temporary. There wasn’t even any rioting in the streets. People stayed home at night, watching television, looking for some direction. There wasn’t even an enemy you could put your finger on.
So much for fiction being a respite from reality. I was relieved when Nancy Pelosi cancelled the SOTU (Shout Out To the Union) this week due to the government shutdown.
RIP: Mary Oliver, September 10, 1935 – January 17, 2019.
Mary Oliver was an American poet who died this past week. I end with a short piece of her poetry which captures the chiaroscuro, the light and the dark of life. From a Twitter share (@kaysarahsera):