Tuesday, January 19, 2016

2016 Snapshot of Texas Culture

The wedding page incorporates engagements, celebrations, birthdays, etc.

Miss Emily on the left is the old style. Where is the man, it takes two to tangle? It lists a slew of names, and is designed to impress rather than celebrate.

On the right is the rest of the world:

  • The "Z" people getting engaged
  • The Evans//Hesington getting engaged, and their "destination wedding" in Comfort, Texas! They are not even leaving the state, let alone venturing across the pond.
  • Drake's "Outing announcement" Nice but why did his parents feel the need? There is a story there. Maybe we could have outing announcements for Vegans and Atheists?  
  • And happy birthday Kitten, there is a story there too.

Monday, January 18, 2016

The egg and I

A catchy name for a casual breakfast and lunch restaurant, even for a Vegan.

The first and last time we will try it as the execution was terrible. "Your experience may vary."

We ordered coffee and water, and got the coffee, but no water. The next time a waiter came by we asked, "Could we have some water please." One glass arrived sometime later.

The food came but was not hot, we sent one dish back saying, ".... can you put this in the microwave please," and the waiter said, "we will make you another one." When it came back is was the same dish with a few extra onions sprinkled on top.

The bill was over $20, overpriced for the type of establishment and quality.

On the upside they did not rush us, and there was a line forming out the door. There are choices out there and the people lining up chose this place and were willing to wait.

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

Hope springs eternal

From the Economist in the UK

Overall the drift down in church attendance continues, as new figures later this month will show. The proportion of people calling themselves Christian fell from 72% in 2001 to 59% in 2011. Those saying they have no religion rose from 15% to 25% in that period (including 177,000 claiming to be Jedi). The number of churchgoing Anglicans fell by 12%, and in 2013 stood at 1m. Some 19m baptised Anglicans do not attend church.

From the New York Times in the US

Millennials (18­ to 29 ­year ­olds) are very suspicious of organized religion. Thirty ­five percent say they are unaffiliated with any religious group, compared with 23 percent of Generation X (born between 1965 and 1980).

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Mini Library update

Now you can wave to the people as they go by as you sample the latest books added to the library.

Recently we bought 20 hardback books, some unread, from a charity shop for $1.

I still need to add more Cast Iron plants, transplanted from the city garden, to the wall of foliage that acts as a backdrop. They are perfect for this location, tolerate shade and evergreen.

When digging them up I discovered they were flowering. The blooms are strange, close to the soil, and hidden in the stalks.

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Wish list for the next US president

My wish list for the next US President, not is any particular order. I have no hope of making any of these, I am on the outer edge of the bell curve.

  • Close Guantanamo, and donate the land back to Cuba. Castro has never cashed the checks anyway. The prison at Guantanamo was a very bad idea, and it has not got any better.
  • End the US war on drugs, it is a policing activity not a war, and it creates more harm than good
  • Do not put ground troops in ISIS territory, it is just what they want and they hold the advantage on the ground
  • Drastically reduce the US prison population. Prisons should be a place of rehabilitation, and place to separate dangerous people from society, not a place to punish. 
  • Push for incremental and continuous tightening of gun possession. There are 300 million guns in society, a terribly intractable problem.
  • Expand Medicare (currently for people over 65) to cover everybody and discontinue the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) and Military Medical (Tricare). One universal system financed out of paychecks.
  • End the death penalty in all States, we are getting there but not fast enough 
  • Improve the care of people with mental conditions, many are homeless and on the street
  • Remove the special interests from the tax code: mortgage interest, house taxes, charity contributions, etc. Why should we subsidize people who choose to owe a lot of money?
  • Simplify the tax code, most of the information is already known, so why does a person have to submit a detailed form, saying how much they own the government or the government owes them?
  • Take religion out of government and schools.  This is the 21st century.
  • Take sports out of schools and universities, they are a place of learning, and brains need protecting

Monday, January 4, 2016

Trash Automation

The local city has moved to an improved and automated trash and recycle pickup. They left each household two very large containers that will be lifted and emptied by the truck.

  • Twice a week they will empty the blue 360 liter container
  • Once a week they will take away yard trash in bags that will decompose
  • Every two weeks they will empty the black 240 liter recycle bin
  • Every two weeks they will take over-sized items

I will have to start generating more trash, and create a spreadsheet to know what week I am in.