Wednesday, December 28, 2016

Passing it on

trails in the slipstream

     It was a quiet moment, a relaxed pause in holiday saturation, a deep sigh.
     "I think it's so neat the girls are carrying on some of our traditional things," Lana said looking at one of the home made gift tags Katherine created.
     Sentimentalist that I am, I've kept some of those tags, even dating back to when elder sister Kristin was a wee one.
     Traditions and rituals are the stuff of this season including taking measure, a self imposed exam we tabulate when we see old man time limping for the door. 
      Resolutions and reflections go hand in hand.

      We are fond of the Kennedy Center Honors, a seasonal glitter of tribute. This year's celebration came with an announcement that a year long remembrance of JFK's devotion to the arts and creativity will cast a major presence in Washington. I'm struck by the resurrection of the lights of Camelot in a capitol presided over by a reality television star. JFK and Jackie looming over the Donald and Melania. Good juju.

the embrace
      Do you think the significance of the US and Japanese ritual is fully appreciated and understood? 
      75 years after the entry of the US into WW II two hated foes crossed a chasm once thought impossible to bridge. Though we are nominally allies with Japan two visits this year seared wounded hearts with deep and cathartic healing.      
      First President Obama visited Hiroshima where America first used an atomic bomb. He embraced survivors, said the souls of those who died speak to us and he urged the world to purse a future without nuclear weapons. 
      Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe's visit to Pearl Harbor, that they attacked propelling the US into the war, was another bridge. The significance of those first visits of former combatants to the historic sites of war may seem to be only protocol or ceremonial but in the arc of history they are momentous. Two blood enemies acknowledging the deepest blackness of their hearts in order to move forward in a better world. The ritual of forgiveness on a global scale.

        Does irony not strike again? The end of a year, the end of an administration, two principal adversaries of a World War talk of burying hatred and nuclear weapons as a President-to be-talks of a new arms race.

the fist salute
        Every four years as the Times Square ball drops, an adjustment begins to move over the US as the transition of power turns closer to inaugural day. It is a marvelous tradition  and sends up the message things are normal, life continues  and all is well. This year the peaceful transition will occur, but a majority of Americans know things are not normal and all is not well. 

       A fist salute next to a Christmas tree?! A Christian celebration of the birth of the Prince of Peace met with a kind of power fist salute. No things are not at all normal or well.

winter green

dedicated to resilience 

     See you down the trail.

Saturday, December 24, 2016


     In that moment when Patti Smith missed a lyric, apologized, nervously began again and was met with a warm applause that grew even warmer upon completion of A Hard Rains A Gonna Fall at the Nobel literature presentation the love of this season was personified. Sincerity, compassion, tenderness, love and joy were all in that moment.
      The grand spiritual and philosophical architecture of this epoch of human habitation on this planet is constructed by singular acts, one at a time. They exist and in fact they abound if only we will see them, or create them.
      Regardless of your most intimate and deepest belief please allow me to wish you and yours Merriment at this Christmas season. May you all experience joy, peace and the light of love.

     See you down the trail. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016


Clouds over the Santa Lucia range, Cambria Ca
     The ability to change is a great human skill, perhaps the most powerful tool to survival. Intellectual growth, physical strength, psychological, emotional or spiritual maturity are necessary for the person and for the tribe or culture. Change is a constant, a process.
    Reminders of that came in a recent series of things; the passing of a brilliant mind and public servant, seeing a film, thinking about the changing of the guard in America and the power of this time of year.

   Bill Hudnut who served as Mayor of Indianapolis longer than anyone in history, who also served in Congress, as Mayor of Chevy Chase, as the senior Pastor of major Presbyterian churches and as an academic passed recently.
   As his health devolved and his heart failed over the last couple of years I was among those who read and responded to his reflections on a gifted and serving life. One cannot watch the demise of another and not reflect on your own temporary lease on life. Great and profound understandings can be found along that ridge line on the edge of the great mystery.
    Bill wrote in his valediction-"I leave this earthly life at peace, with faith and trust in a future that will carry me beyond the bourne of space and time, but also with wariness of plotting the furniture of heaven or the temperature of hell. There is much I cannot fathom about the afterlife. Will there be recognition? What part of me, if any, survives? Forever, or just until I am forgotten? A little reverent agnosticism seems to be in order, because “now we see through a glass darkly.” More positively, “we walk by faith and not by sight.” the sea...
     Kenneth Lonergan's  elegy to grief, love and family, Manchester By The Sea is brilliant clarity. His film is so honest you find yourself between the characters in a reality that beats with your own heart. Much has been said about Casey Affleck's performance. There are insufficient superlatives to give him his due. Lonergan's directing makes film making, logistics, acting and all of that disappear and he gives you more than 2 hours worth of honesty that crawls into your mind and heart. his words...
    It comes late in his life though the President-elect needs to learn the power of truth and the measure of words.
     The trouble with big talk and obvious lies is that it diminishes the worth of words. He must be made to realize that his behavior up until now is not suitable for the role he will assume. Hype, overstatement, lies, ego enhancement and predatory behavior may have been condoned in life before, but his life is no longer his own. Words matter. Context of words in a complicated world of diplomacy and subtlety and subtext are tools and strategy. 
    Those who voted for the man do not like to read this type of analysis, but they must know it matters. If they voted for him, they must own what they bought. the light...
   Those of Jewish faith will soon move into Hanukkah or the festival of lights. It is a time of reflection and re dedication.
    Christians are deep into Advent-awaiting light in the darkness or peace in chaos. The heart of Advent is the Christmas story, the birth of pure innocence, the Christ child, the Prince of Peace. The object of the season is to prepare room in the heart for the Christ to be born and dwell.
    These celebrations of light come as the cosmos dances its annual move of deep darkness, followed by the winter solstice, the shortest day and longest night. Then days lengthen and nights shorten. A natural cycle. Faith traditions see it as cosmic poetry. In light there is hope.

   Transformation. Change, alteration, metamorphosis, modification, evolution, conversion, progression. And it seems an implication on the purely human scale is that we adapt and evolve or we perish.

...forbidding mourning...
   As my friend Gary Pedigo says, "No one gets out of here alive." More transformation work to come.

    In his Valediction Forbidding Mourning Bill Hudnut wrote-
"I would not have chosen a long, slow slide into complete heart failure, but I tried to cope with it with “gaiety, courage and a quiet mind,” to borrow from my mother who in turn was quoting Robert Louis Stevenson."...I depart this life believing with St. Paul (I Cor. 13):  “Love can outlast anything; it still stands when all else has fallen.”

As Cardinal John Henry Newman wrote, “O Lord, support us all the day long, till the shadows lengthen, and the evening comes, and the busy world is hushed, and the fever of life is over, and our work is done, and then in Thy great mercy, grant us a safe lodging, a holy rest, and peace at the last.  Amen.”

Keep Me In Your Heart For a While

      See you down the trail.

Thursday, December 15, 2016


     Living in the Midwest I envied those who lived where they could grow their own lemons and oranges. Looking upon our small lemon tree and seeing fruit brings an endless joy.
let freedom ring
   On this day in 1791 the people of Virginia ratified one of this nation's greatest tools. The Bill of Rights went into effect upon their vote. 
     Those rights and freedoms so enumerated have been the heart and soul of the Constitution, the very bones of our Democratic Republic.  For 225 years Presidents, Senators and Congressmen have come and gone, but the nation has been better served by the principles of our government encoded in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights. 
  Maybe it is only more gas bag grandiosity of his inner carnival barker or his ignorance, but the President elect has loudly said things that would impinge on basic rights-his remarks about flag burners being just one instance. He says stupid things and he lies, frequently. 
   Thomas Friedman called him "reckless" as he surveyed cabinet nominees. A "prehistoric cabinet" he wrote, people whose attitudes about climate and environment pre date scientific data and facts. Indeed there are facts in this world, though, Donald Trump disagrees while also ignoring that the national defense establishment and intelligence community consider climate change a global threat.
   California Governor Jerry Brown has indicated the nation's most populous state and 5th largest economy in the world will fight a "reckless" administration that signals stupidity will be the clubhouse pass word. A clubhouse being stuffed with billionaires committed to fossil fuels, even those who presided over suppressing data about climate change, who would eliminate departments they will lead, who have been on the payroll of big oil and who are cozy with the very Russian government that launched a digital 9/11 on our way of choosing leaders.
     I hope those who voted for Trump, especially those who did so because they thought no one heard their pain about job loss and home foreclosures realize their president elect has nominated two men to run his economy who were the kings of foreclosure and did so fraudulently. Secretary of the Treasury Nominee Steve Mnuchin and Commerce designate Wilbur Ross have been accused by legal sources, media and Wall Street insiders as having committed fraud in running the "Great Foreclosure Machine." Predatory lending, buying and stripping companies-eliminating jobs and selling for profit are their history. Mnuchin spent years at Goldman Sachs, who Trump pilloried with Hillary Clinton. 
     Trump said he was a friend of coal miners but Ross ran a company that operated a mine where 12 miners were killed after many safety violations and complaints. Did Ross do anything for the workers? Yes, he cut their benefits and later fired them. How about draining the swamp eh? Feel good about your choice of candidate now?

    A friend with a wicked sense of humor gave me this cap as a gift. Notice where this America Great hat was made? China.
    Donald Trump is a narcissistic liar, a buffoon and an ignoramus. We know that. And so did the minority of Americans who voted for him. Trump can be explained; a spoiled rich boy, tabloid romeo, screw everybody deal maker looking out for himself. He was surprised that he won. What is a challenge to understand is how anyone, even those who hated Hillary, those who felt ignored, those who were angry with the republican dominated gridlock and/or the democrat President's aversion to old fashioned politics, how any of them could vote for such an inexperienced, lout despite warnings from former Presidents, national security experts, those whom he cheated and those whom he sexually assaulted. The evidence is public. I understand how Steve Bannon and his minions of racists, xenophobes, misogynists, and white supremacist nationalists would like Trump. 
    We knew and now we know even more profoundly how reckless and dangerous the choice was. We won't accept this as normal or as anything but a danger. Most American voters know this. I wonder though when those who voted for Trump, hoping that he would make it better, understand they not only wasted a vote, but put in play a plutocratic political scheme that will do the opposite of what he promised and could spiral us into a dangerous vortex.
     Rick Perry at Energy?! That would have been a great sketch on SNL. Instead, the joke's on us. 
    This is Trumpworld, a land of lies, cheating, assault and 5th grade buffoonery. No wonder Putin wanted the buffoon in the Whitehouse. 
      Maybe it is time to take CALEXIT seriously. How I wish this nation could be led by Jerry Brown. 
      And how grateful I am, the Bill of Rights give us the power to fight tyranny. 
      See you down the trail.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

You Need to Pay Attention

the redhot poker or torch lily in our back garden
     Winter's face on the California central coast is a far cry from the snow, ice, sheets of lead gray skies and cold rain of my native Indiana. 
      Here nature adorns itself with festive color and blooms and cattle birth new calves. A few blogger friends have posted scenes of snow recently and while I enjoy the pictures, I'm pleased to no longer shovel, scrap or drive in it. I've become a weather wimp.
     As much as I've tried to ignore it, the color of this poker stirs a thought about the president-elect.
      Mr Trump you've got to pay attention and start attending or reading the daily intelligence briefings that are available to you. You are dealing with higher stakes than a real estate project. This is not reality television, it is the real world. It is a far cry more complicated, complex, historical and dangerous than anything you've ever wrapped your mind around. If you can Tweet all night about Alec Baldwin, you can listen to your director of national intelligence. You might learn something. Actually you need to learn, a lot. Grow up!

did the russians elect our president?
       While it sounds like the yarn of a le Carre', Ludlum, Clancy, Silva, Knebel or some other espionage writer there is now serious question about how the Russians may have engineered Trump's election. The CIA has briefed Congress. The administration now ponders how to respond to this historic violation of our democratic republic.  Maybe that's a reason the trumpster has taken only 3 intel briefings in over a month. You've got to pay attention. We all do. So should the electors on the electoral college.This is unexplored territory.

a real hero
NASA Photo 1962

   We lost a true American leader and hero with the passing of 95 year old John Glenn. The photo was taken aboard the recovery ship after Glenn became the first American to orbit the earth.
    On February 20, 1962 Owen Fisher, biology teacher and football and track coach turned on a radio in our science lab classroom and said, "today we are going to listen to history." Glenn's flight in Friendship 7 was not a sure thing. The success made us proud.
    He was already a decorated hero, a marine pilot who flew missions in World War II and Korea. A democrat he was elected to the US Senate in 1974 and served until 1999. In 98 he became the oldest American to fly in space when he returned aboard the shuttle Discovery. 
    The President elect called him a "great American hero."
It is hard to imagine two men more different in skill, courage, temperament, service and character.

    See you down the trail.

Monday, December 5, 2016

The Time Has Come and What Is Life?

    The real Christmas season arrived, carried on rich strings, voices and delivered in a "conversation that turns back the clock."
     From its hill side perch over looking Cambria's east village the historic Santa Rosa chapel was aglow, as it has been over more than 140 Christmas seasons. It is a special night, a "homecoming" that blends more than a century of lives, hopes, meditation, music and the unique poignancy of Christmas. 
   Each year is special, in its own way. We were accompanied by Jack who only recently lost his beloved Lydia, a dear friend. Jack is a masterful Viola player and has performed in Strings in the Chapel, but on this night he could enjoy and be soothed by the wonderful sounds.
   As frequent readers will recall a special moment of the evening is when Judith Larmore reads a Christmas Reflection. They are beautiful and vivid nostalgic gifts that weave the magic of memory and heart felt moments into a kind of garland symbolic of the season's emotional glow.
   This year she began with an apology. The very recent loss of her sister, the passing of Leonard Cohen, the emotional division of post election America, and other stresses left her depleted. So she went to the "archive" and presented a letter home she wrote a few years ago. As her work is, that letter was timeless. Given the losses, setbacks, worries and fear of of so many it was the perfect gift.
    Judith said even when people are gone and times change we can "go home again," in our memory.  She said we can see people who are "older but more beautiful" and we can experience a "deep love." This is a season where time "stands still with people we love." And as change is on the wind Judith noted our remembrances allow us to "look back before moving ahead."
     Bruce Black's humorous tales of adventures with his grandmother and his recitation of Twas the Night before Christmas, the extraordinary music in the candle light and the gathering of friends filled me with a great cheer that has been recently absent. Christmas time has arrived. In its way it is a light from darkness, a joy amidst loss in hearts and life. Specific thanks follow below.

searching for life
    Some of the brightest minds on the planet are gathering in Irvine California this week to discuss Searching for Life across Time and Space.
     The National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine has convened in advance of pending missions of exploration to discuss what is life, what does it look like, how would we know if we have discovered it in some distance from our home planet? The curious can examine the agenda here.
     They are good questions. No one knows what life may be like away from earth, under different conditions and dynamics. In 2018 the launch of the James Webb space telescope signals the beginning of examining planetary atmospheres. We'll be more "hands on" when we launch a probe to Europa, a moon of Jupiter to examine what we presume to be water. 

better late than....
    Finally the federal government has acted with something close to honor. The Army Corps of Engineers refusal to permit final approval of the Dakota Access Pipeline shows respect for native nations and first citizens. The Obama administration was slow to act, but the refusal is a temporary victory for those who gathered at Standing Rock to protect water, sacred land and Sioux tribal rights. 
    The Sacramento Bee said it well in an editorial:
"The about face is miraculous and rare.  Throughout history, various arms of the U.S. government have shamefully dismissed the rights of tribes, usually siding with those seeking to make a profit."

Read more here:
      "Shameful" indeed! Nothing can make up for the illegitimate birth of our nation by invasion and thievery but this small gesture is important though the Trump ascendancy  remains a menace. Trump has financial interests in DAPL.

going to be watching you
  A warning to elves--someone maybe watching you back!

well done
   Thanks to Jill Poulos celtic harp, button accordion, Justin Robillard guitar, Eric Williams guitar, William Alpert 1st violin, Mario Ojedo 2nd violin, Peter Jandula-Hudson viola, Grant Chase cello, Helene Robillard vocalist, Lyra vocalists, Jan Callner, Mary Anne Anderson, Diane, DeMarco, Rebecca Hendricks, Barbara McDonough, Lorna Mumpers, Nancy Taber, Vocal Quartet-Wayne Attoe, Steve Dowding, Ted Key, Ken Dunn.
    See you down the trail.

Thursday, December 1, 2016


    Fidel Castro turned me into a smuggler.
    On assignment, my first trip to Cuba and I had the opportunity to buy a print that knocked my socks off. Ernest Hemingway and Fidel on the day Hemingway departed the island for the US.

Photo by Osvaldo Salas -print from Tom's collection

  I purchased another print too, a photo by a new friend who had known Castro since the early days of the revolution.
   There was a catch, a stumbling block. It was illegal to possess or trade in images of Castro. Che Guevara was the political saint, his image is everywhere, but Castro demanded his own image be off limits. He was trying to avoid what communists called "the cult of the personality."
 Photo by Roberto Salas print from Tom's collection

   I purchased the image from the photographer Roberto (Bob) Salas, an historic guy in his own right.
  Bob was New York born, his father was Cuban and famed photographer Osvaldo Salas. The senior Salas shot for Life Magazine and the New York Times. He was a documentary shooter, but a fine art photographer as well. Some of his New York fire escape shots are iconic. 
   Osvaldo took his family, including his teen apprentice son back to Cuba to cover the last year of the Cuban revolution. Osvaldo stayed in Havana with Batista while Bob went into the mountains to be with Fidel.
   Roberto Salas at home in Havana 

   Father and son reconnected in Havana when Batista fled and Fidel claimed power. 
    In the early days of the take over, Castro, Che and their top staff took up residency in a Presidential palace. Bob stayed with them, taking over a bathroom as his dark room and sleeping place. One night he woke and heard a conversation not far away. He grabbed a camera and emerged into a room to see Fidel and Che lighting cigars.
     A journalist, Salas is a realist. He's been shooting and sparring with Castro for decades. Bob pushed on matters of artistic freedom and expression. He deplored some things about Cuban life and Castro, but given a chance to live in the US or on the Island, he chose Havana. "It is not a perfect revolution," he says, "but we made it. It is ours, no one else."
    As a side note, Bob is the only journalist I know who covered the Viet Nam war from the North and the South. He's a dual citizen, an American and a Cuban. He had unique access.

      He and his father captured extraordinary images of the revolution and its early days. Some of their work is in a limited edition book.
 Book by Osvaldo and Roberto Salas

    The book and the prints signed by Bob and his father are  prized possessions.
Che by Roberto-plate from book

     On my first trip to Cuba I was fortunate to be accompanied by a student government ally and friend from college who had gone on to a distinguished and adventurous career of his own as a photographer and later a professor. Jon met Bob on one of his first of many trips to Cuba. Travel there was off limits to US Citizens without special visa. Jon was an old Cuban hand by the time he introduced me to the Island.
     Back to the smuggling. I thought the US government could care less if I had images of Castro, but I knew Cuban security would care, enough so I could end up in a tough spot. There is nothing good to say of Cuban prisons. Being a Hemingway fan, I wanted to get the print as well as Bob's shot of a laid back dictator, back home to the US. 
     I carefully wound the prints around our camera tripod legs, wrapped brown paper over those and inserted them into our tripod hard case tube.  It was a time in my life when I was in and out of nations and airports and through all manner of screening and security checks. It seems most nations have security that are naturally suspect of journalists and the press. Usually that meant delays, hassles, opening cases, explaining pieces of equipment, battery chargers, inverters and the like. We went to the airport with an uncertainty in our gut. Jon had been through enough times he knew a couple of things that got us past the security without needing to even open the tripod tube. 
      On this trip to Cuba we flew in and out of Canada. Jamaica was another option. Coming in from Canada the US customs agent raised his eyebrows when I told him I was a smuggler. When I explained and showed him the prints he chuckled. Still he wanted to know how I could have purchased a box of fine cigars and a bottle of Rum for less than $100 dollars-the amount of goods our Treasury Department stamp permitted us to import. I showed him the bills of sale. "Yeah?!" he grumbled.  
        As I noted, Jon was an old hand and knew his way around Cuba. Some Cubans got a kick out of "sticking it to" the embargo.
after fidel, what now?
    Castro was many things including a despot. The charismatic, passionate and idealistic revolutionary became a dictator. Though his own disastrous "economic planning," the US embargo and the Soviet's abandonment trashed his economy, good things happened on the Island and not everybody despised him.
     Consider these brief facts-even adjusted to population differences-Cuba has more doctors per citizen than the US, Cuba's literacy rate is higher, the infant mortality rate is lower, they have a strong educational system, everybody has health care, foreign nationals travel to get Cuban care and Cuba has minuscule crime compared to the US and mass killings are unheard of.
     They have serious economic challenges, there are still political prisoners and it is not the Democracy of the US.
     On my last assignment there I spoke with young economists, political scientists and activists. They had already begun to refer to Fidel and his brother Raul as "the historic leadership." It was a type of early shaping of history. They appreciated the independence of the nation, the universal health care and education, but they were realistic and knew that further accords and arrangements would be needed with capitalist governments. There were a lot of scenarios tossed around as to how to move Cuba ahead.
     The Obama overture to normalize relations is long over due. Those who were hurt most by the embargo were the people, they were forced to do with out. It is my hope Trump's business instincts sees more value in Northern investment in Cuba than continuing some out dated, punitive and ineffective policy left over from long ago.
      The Cubans are resilient, warm, hospitable and occupy a gorgeous and lush island nation. There is immense opportunity at this juncture and if played properly can be a win win situation for everyone, with the exception of the 1.2 Million Cuban American Nationals, an estimated 0.58% of the US population. Some of them hold grudges and a desire to be repatriated with their homes.
       I've told friends to visit Cuba now in the Felliniesque era before it's modernized and transformed. Uncertain time is ahead, but modernity can not be denied.  Let's hope the US is on the right side this time.
      Now that he is gone and beyond the "impurity" of cult of personality, it's my guess Fidel's image will join that of Che's as a secular saint. No one will need to smuggle images in a tripod tube.

      See you down the trail.

Sunday, November 27, 2016


November Surf-Cambria
    We were emotionally spent as we walked from the theatre when we encountered a friend and her husband who there with other couples. They are mixed race couples who gather annually to celebrate Mildred and Richard Loving, the Virginia couple who's love changed the US Constitution.
     Married in 1958 they were arrested in Virginia where state law forbade black and white to marry, live together, bear children or to love each other. Forced to move to Washington DC, where they had been married, they began a family and longed to return to their beautiful rural home.
    Director/Writer Jeff Nichols has crafted a quiet and understated powerhouse film that tells history but also speaks to the current American dilemma. 
     Joel Edgerton delivers an Oscar worthy performance as a white stone mason Richard Loving who simply wants to be left alone to love and live with his wife. Edgerton's quiet strength and reserve emotes with a power that smolders from the screen. Ethiopian Ruth Negga is vulnerable, gentle and long suffering as Mildred. 
     Nichols, born in Little Rock and educated at the University of North Carolina has an instinctive feel and sense of the southern culture and history that created the Loving case. Nichols became interested in the story of the Supreme Court case and the role of the ACLU in bringing justice to the Lovings when he viewed a documentary by Nancy Buirski, who is one of the producers.
    There is an authenticity played marvelously by the cast. Loving won the 2016 Palm d'Or at Cannes.  This 2 hour study of American history and love has a message that should be heard. Be prepared to ride a roller coaster of emotion.

Photo by Oswaldo Salas-print from Tom's collection

 Frequent readers may recall previous posts from the Cuba File. I'm gathering reaction and preparing a new post for later this week. 

the vote truth and consequence
   It looks like you have to go back to 1876 to find a presidential outcome that rivals our recent travail. 
    Back then Democrat Samuel Tilden shellacked Ohio Republican Rutherford B. Hayes in the popular vote, but he lost in the electoral college, only after some still controversial maneuvers.
     Of course we know at least 2 million more American voters wanted Hillary Clinton to lead us than wanted Donald Trump. Once again the archaic and out balance representation of the Electoral College deprives the majority of Americans their choice and once again hands a gift to the Republican candidate who received an underwhelming minority of votes. 
     Does it matter? Indeed and here's how it is likely to. President Trump leads from a position of weakness. He does not have a mandate as most voting Americans didn't want him. While the Republicans control the Senate and House, they will be dependent upon Democrats to get a majority of votes to pass legislation. Democrats have vowed to protect programs enacted under President Obama. I'm hopeful the Democrats will take a realistic and collegial position, willing to engage in give and take. That would be a drastic reversal from the Republican leadership which vowed on day 1 of the Obama administration to guarantee the first African American President fail and not be reelected. 
     Donald Trump's election is also a repudiation of that Republican scorched earth policy. People who were fed up with government or who felt neglected also blame the congressional grid lock engineered by the Republicans. While a minority party it is our hope the Democrats behave as Americans first and partisans second. That's a far cry from the past 8 years. 
      We live in historic times eh?

do you see a face in the surf?
   look a little left of center of the frame. see anything that resembles a face or head of lion or ???

     See you down the trail.