Good News

The good news: I won my argument with the county.  We received a credit for almost $1,000 on our water/sewer/trash removal account covering all the overcharging for the past year.  And, our bills are back in the normal-for-us range.  The other good news is that the worst months of winter are nearly over and my fear of broken water pipes is receding.

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The snow is almost gone from my car, my kind of shoveling.

Many years we have experienced a snowstorm on President’s Day.  This year was no exception with 8 inches of the light powdery stuff falling inside the city center yesterday.  Today, the early morning rain, then sun and 50+ degree weather melted the snow, so, I can get to the gym tomorrow.

David was a little stir crazy this morning so I sent him to the grocery store, where, he complained later, they were “out of everything, and had one checkout clerk.” None of his friends were at work. ” It’s not fun anymore,” he said.

Everyone knows David.  All the women run up and hug and kiss him.  It’s like I am not there when he is with me. Why are old guys, no matter how grumpy they are at home, viewed as lovable old duffers when they are out and about?  My fault for marrying a sober extrovert.

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Speaking of President’s Day, I read an article in the Washington Post about people who have challenged themselves to read at least one biography about each American president. These readers said the challenge gave them a greater appreciation and love of their country.

Over time, I’ve managed to read a number of presidential biographies, sometimes several about an individual like Lincoln or FDR, but I don’t know that I am curious enough, or care enough about all of them to read at least one biography about each one. More often than not, I read a history of a period in which the president looms large, such as All the President’s Men by Bob Woodward or To Begin the World Anew: The Genius and Ambiguities of America’s Founders, by Bernard Bailyn.

I have also read a number of biographies about various U. K. Prime Ministers, including Thatcher and Churchill, about whom I wrote various research papers while working toward my history graduate degree.

Currently I am reading Jon Meacham’s Destiny and Power, about George Herbert Walker Bush, and it’s quite good, although its slow going because I am distracted by other things.

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Below, a copy of the Sonogram photo (29 weeks) granddaughter Rita posted on Facebook and sent to Hayden’s dad, who is currently serving with the U.S. military in the Middle East.  Dad won’t make it home until after Hayden’s birth in May.  Rita says Hayden is waving hello.

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20 thoughts on “Good News

  1. Lots of good news! You can fight “City (county?) Hall and win! Hooray.

    The biography challenge sounds like a pretty good way to learn history (for common people like me, not for brilliant students like you who are way beyond that I’m sure). But I am surprised that there actually IS a bio of every president and I am feeling like googling (or Amazoning) for that . I mean Rutherford B Hayes ? Really? Mallard Fillmore? But of course there are still plenty of interesting presidents whose biographies I could read without worrying about those I have doubts about. (I mentally count only eight such bios I can remember reading, so that leaves a whole heck of a lot).

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  2. Good to know people still can successfully fight city hall. Congratulations on your water department win.

    I’m currently plowing through Meacham’s “Thomas Jefferson: The Art of Power.” Plowing is the right term–it weighs about 5 pounds in paperback–but a lot of very interesting stuff is included. I previously read a detailed bib on John Adams, so the contrast in how the two viewed conflict between the Federalists and Republicans (the latter more like present-day Dems) has been intriguing.

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    • I began reading Meacham’s ‘Thomas Jefferson’ yesterday. Very enjoyable and great writing. In some respects the Republican party of Jefferson’s time was a bit conservative, however, their core values are the same over time….weaker central government, states’ rights, etc.

      Interestingly George Mason and Jefferson, who were great friends, argued about the Bill of Rights. Mason drafted the Bill of Rights for Virginia (first known as ‘The Fairfax Resolves.’ Later, the document was attached to the Constitution after Madison wrote it. Madison, of course was the Federalist who wrote The Federalist Papers and a neighbor of Jefferson’s. (Just a few tidbits I once shared as a docent at George Mason’s home in Fairfax county VA)

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  3. Congrats on a Great Grand! Glad you were able to prevail with your county on bills. Took some perseverance.

    I thought with your history background you probably could reassure us with some stories showcasing that the craziness of this political year is not the first in our nation’s history. I can’t immediately bring any to mind, but know through the years I’ve read some pretty hair raising accounts of what went on between competing candidates and political parties. Find it intriguing, too, how political parties have ended up changing, even reversing, their basic philosophies. We’ve certainly evolved now to extremes. Also, conservative now doesn’t mean what it once did when I was young, and neither does liberal, which serves to partly explain why I hate labels. People have differing definitions of what label words mean, then jump to conclusions about what they think the opposite person believes.

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    • A very insightful comment. You are correct on several counts.

      Politics have always been a bit rambunctious. I recommend those interested in politics at its worst watch the film GANGS OF NEW YORK with Daniel Day Lewis. The film takes place in the last half of the nineteenth century and showcases the fallout surrounding the “Tammany Hall” scandal.

      In THOMAS JEFFERSON: THE ART OF POWER, Jon Meacham writes that throughout Jefferson’s over 50 years in politics, he experienced one difficult period after another, beginning with the prelude to the American Revolution and ending as the Jacksonian “unwashed” occupied Washington.

      The Civil War is the absolute worst period, but the 1930s were awful primarily because both Communist and Nazi agitators were busy. Most of us, who are educated, understand that there is a middle ground. After WWII, we were much more united because we saw first hand what totalitarianism does (whether left as in Stalin or right as in Hitler).

      I am a Social Liberal, but not in the contemporary sense, and certainly not a Fiscal conservative in the contemporary sense. We need a pragmatic approach to solve our problems beginning with a rational overhaul of the federal government.

      I find the “my way or the highway” attitude of zealot Americans (those who follow Trump, Cruz or Bernie) disturbing.

      And I find it disturbing that the current occupant of the White House has time to meet with representatives of BLM but no time for Scalia’s funeral.

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  4. I’m always full of wonder at babyscans in the womb. Trust all goes well. You have done very well with the water authorities. Here’s to spring.

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    • Thanks Barbara. Yes, it was a long tedious struggle and I had to go all the way up the chain of command, but I persevered. Thank you again regarding the great-grandchild. Yes, we are excited about my daughter’s first grandchild.

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    • All I can do is cheerlead. I sure hope you don’t have a gas leak.

      I don’t want to see the lead news story some evening to be the chair of the Epilepsy Foundation and her pickle ball playing spouse were blown to smithereens.

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  5. You are certainly a history enthusiast, readng the biographies of presidents. I don’t know what it would take for me to read about Canadian prime ministers. I lack your history back ground so that is part of it I guess.

    The baby’s photo is adorable.

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