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Friday, 25 May 2018

More reflections

At 6 a.m. GMT tomorrow - that's 1a.m. EST - I will have completed 78 years of life on this planet, years in which I have set foot in 37 countries, met national leaders (Mandela, Smith, de Klerk), and all in all, led a very interesting and accommodating life. I have achieved 250 catapult launches and carrier arrests, survived a mid-air collision and a separate crash landing, appeared in repertory theater in a dozen or more plays, ridden in mine-proof vehicles with a police escort to assess the damage wrought by terrorists on lonely farmhouses, and  I have swum with barracuda off the Kenyan coast. Sure I have made some mistakes - don't we all? But I have striven to make my life both interesting and the life of a gentleman. I get livid when I read or hear of someone mistreating a woman, and though I admit to having sowed plenty of wild oats in my time, I don't believe that I have ever treated a woman with disrespect, and this may be backed up by my 13 years of marriage to Lizzie - still to this day without a single argument or fight. I pray every day that I will get to live at least as long as my late dad, who crossed over in his 94th year.

So what have I learned? What advice can I pass on to my peers, my relatives, and my friends far and wide? I have written extensively in another earlier post about Time, and I sincerely believe in all of my previous comments thereto. Namely, that Time is the most important and valuable asset that you will ever be given. Cheerish the Time that you are given, for you never know when it is going to be taken away from you.

I have been writing my memoirs - The Graceful retirement of an English Gentleman and to boost the page count have included as an addendum all of the poems that I wrote in my earlier days and all of the blog posts written in the Internet age. I am up to 236 pages so far, and when complete will distribute it to friends and family - for posterity and so that I am not completely forgotten.

I am an avid reader, getting through a couple of novels every week - but then I have a lot of Time on my hands. To keep myself informed of political affairs and the like I have taken to regularly read the Reporter at Large column in the  New Yorker magazine. Now that the warm weather is here (83˚ F today) I shall start painting again. I would have been doing so today but for the wind, which at a steady 17 knots was trying to get my easel airborne. Lizzie bought me a set of gouache tubes so I will try painting with those as a medium - there's a first for you.

Well guys, as you can see I'm still around and for any of you who are in the business am looking for some writing jobs, so if you're interested, do drop me a line.

Friday, 4 May 2018

No Collusion, No Obstruction of Justice, No Witch Hunt

No Collusion, No Obstruction of Justice, No Witch Hunt. Remember those words in a few months' time when the Special Counsel Robert Mueller eventually publishes his report or issues more indictments.

I am not a Trump supporter - indeed until I am a naturalized American citizen and have the right to vote, I will remain an unbiased onlooker, but will base my thoughts on what I observe in the so-called "fake" news. Frankly, the only real fake news is that published by Fox News and other right-wing news outlets.

Let's start my post with Korea. Many people are advocating that Trump should be nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize - not a bit of it! Let's not forget that North and South Koreas leaders got together and started the peace process without any help from Trump. My own view is that it could have just as easily been Kim Jong Un's sister that made the first overtures to her brother after her visit to the Winter Olympics.

Judith Thurman wrote in Time Magazine in January of /2017 in an article comparing Nixon, GW Bush, and Trump "But whatever I may have seen as their limitations of character or intellect, neither was anything like as humanly impoverished as Trump is: ignorant of government, of history, of science, of philosophy, of art, incapable of expressing or recognizing subtlety or nuance, destitute of all decency, and wielding a vocabulary of seventy-seven words that is better called Jerkish than English."

This week has seen Trump take on Rudy Giuliani as part of his legal team in the White House, only to result in dropping the president into deeper water regarding the Mueller probe. Does it not bother anyone, especially House and Senate Republicans, that Trump is a compulsive liar. I have never in the many years that I have been here on Earth come across anyone who is such an obviously bare faced liar. But then there are many people here in the USA who have known for a long time that he is a con-man.

At yesterday's White House press briefing Sarah Huckabee Sanders was so confused that she didn't know whether she was coming or going. She was asked point blank by the gathered press corps yesterday how she expected them to believe her when she contradicted herself time after time. I guess that's the trouble when a buffoon of a president changes his mind so often. The Washington Post stated today that the president has knowingly lied publicly more than 3,000 times since his inauguration. Trump has stated that there was "no collusion" and "no obstruction of justice' so often that it has to raise doubts in any sane person's mind. You are wrong Mr Trump - there is NO Witch Hunt.

Wednesday, 10 January 2018

Goodbye to the Autumn of my days

I started writing this post in longhand on Sunday evening last, seated in my recliner in the Northeast Kingdom and sipping a Manhattan cocktail. Vermont's Northeast Kingdom is comprised of Essex, Orleans, and Caledonia counties and had a population of just 64,764 at the 2010 census. It is in the state's far Northeast and borders Canada. I relocated here in order to be close to my daughter and her family, and to see out my remaining years - hopefully still quite a few, but you never know!

Right now the temperature outside our Cape Cod style apartment building is 3˚F, but last night it plunged to -36˚F - colder by far than Alaska! It is likely to be the same tonight and has not been above freezing for several weeks. It is so cold outside that the salt that has been spread on Route 5 in order to melt the snow lying n the road has absolutely no effect. We have had two separate storms so far this Winter - one that swept in from the Great Lakes to the West of us, and the other a bomb cyclone that swept up the East coast from Florida, giving snowfall in that state and every other coastal state from Georgia to Maine.The ski resorts of Northern New England are crowded, and well over 90% of runs are open.

A couple of weeks ago Liz and I enjoyed watching my granddaughter in her debut stage role, a real treat for someone who has spent so much time walking the boards. I was so impressed with her performance and her singing,. If I had started my acting career when I was at her age I might have ended up as a professional actor rather than a naval aviator. But then the circumstances around my acting career were very different as will be found in detail in my autobiography, The Graceful Retirement of an English Gentleman when I eventually distribute it to family and friends. So far I am up to 97 pages and a little short of 20,000 words.

I have had a pretty good life - have set foot in more than 30 countries and resided in four. Unless I should happenstance make a big win in one of the state's lotteries I am here to stay. The alternative would be somewhere like St Martin or Guadeloupe - somewhere in the French Caribbean anyway. I have met presidents, prime ministers, and even a princess. I have designed websites (currently have three of my own) and have had more than 6,500 articles and web pages published on the Internet so one way or another have left some sort of legacy.

It has been an interesting couple of years here in the United States. I spend a fair amount of my time watching MSNBC (never Fox) and their coverage of the country's political news. It seems that we are getting closer and closer to a Mueller - Trump face to face. That indeed will be very interesting, although it will probably never be made public.Michael Wolff's Fire and Fury has disclosed how most staffers in the White House describe Trump as being childlike. He is certainly a liar and an egomaniac. In a couple of month's time, I will be eligible for citizenship, so I am swotting up on the Constitution and other citizenship-related subjects.