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Gaetz tweeted that “The Left” has bloodlust.

The question I have: “The Right” asserts that nobody did anything wrong, including Trump. He just “fought to deliver for the American people.”

That, of course, is admirable and laudable.

So why do you need any pardons, for “everyone” to his “admin” to “himself?”

If there is no crime, but only fighting for the American people, within the law and order administration that it is, why are pardons needed?

Daley Ranch is a wildlife reserve owned by the City of Escondido. It’s on the territory of the old Daley Ranch, started by Robert Daley, a British immigrant, in 1869 and spans about 4,000 acres north of Escondido, California, adjacent to Dixon Lake and it’s various campground and recreational opportunities. There is an entry to Daley Ranch off of Beven Drive and East Valley Parkway, just before it exits town and leads to Valley Center.

Map to Trailhead [click to enlarge]

I have marked the peak (red arrow) and the trailhead (blue arrow). Turn left of Beven, go to the end, follow the signs to Humane Society, and turn left at the gate. There is a small dirt parking lot.

Daley Ranch

The trailhead is right behind the sign on the left. This section of the trail is called the Caballo Trail.

Caballo Trailhead

Upon entering, you can’t help but see the warning sign about mountain lions. This is classic mountain lion territory.

Mountain Lion Warning

Of course, in 35 years of hiking in Southern California, I have never encountered a mountain lion. Regardless, it’s good to be prepared and know what to do. Here are the reminders.

Beginning of Caballo Trail

This is the beginning of the trail, heading up.

Trail Map

Here is the map of my hike up. It was a 7.35 mile roundtrip, and it took me about 3.5 hours. The elevation at the beginning was 785 feet, and the peak is at 1,956 feet. So it’s a good elevation change that makes the heart beat go up. I went up the Caballo Trail, and at about a mile, turned right on the Quail Run, which is a small, narrow and sometimes overgrown connector trail of about 0.65 miles that connects up to the big Sage Trail – which is essentially a wide dirt road all the way to the peak.

Stanley Peak from a Distance

Here is a view of the peak from the beginning of the trail. You can see the brush in the foreground, which is completely typical for Southern California wilderness. It is as high as a man, and impenetrable.

Stanley Peak from Caballo Trail

Here is another view of the peak from farther up the trail, not quite at Quail Run yet.

Stanley Peak – Looking East

Here is the peak. I have set down my hiking poles and backpack before taking this picture, facing east.

Stanley Peak – Looking North

Here is the view looking north. The road below is the 4-lane highway leading to Valley Center. The large ridge in the back is Palomar Mountain, home of the world-famous Palomar Observatory, with the 5-meter mirror, which, for a number of decades, was the largest telescope in the world.

Stanley Peak – Looking West

Here is the view looking west. Below, Mallard Pond is visible through the blue reflection of the sky. This is a large pond in the middle of Daley Ranch. In the distance, the blue band near the horizon is the Pacific Ocean. The hill on the left side is Double Peak, which is the highest peak in San Diego North County and provides good views – and you can comfortably drive up to the very peak. Believe it or not, there are housing developments right below the peak.

Stanley Peak – Looking South

Here is the view south. At the blue arrow, you can see the Pacific again off the coast of La Jolla. The green arrow points to a section of the Caballo Trail, where I came up. The red arrow points to our house. We actually live within half a mile of the Caballo Trail head. I don’t even need to drive to do this hike – just roll out of bed and put the boots on.

The trails of Daley Ranch are well-used, by hikers, hardy mountain bikers, and sometimes equestrians. It gets hot and dry, so you have to bring a good supply of water. The popular Sage Trail is busy, and you can easily see a few dozen small groups of hikers in an hour, but the side trails, like Coyote Run or Quail Run are very isolated, and you likely pass nobody at all. You can do short 1-hour hikes, and you can do 20 mile hikes on Daley Ranch, depending on your pick.

Enjoy!

 

Today I lifted this painting from  Facebook. Here is the link with attribution and where you can buy a print.

Then, in the comments below, many people made positive references about the artist and others about what all had changed since then. Then I came across Leo Dorrington’s comment and a couple of answers:

It’s baffling to me, how there are apparently 70-some million people in this country now that think that Biden has somehow stolen the election by getting more votes than Trump.  Also, where were those 70 million people in 2016 when it turned out the other way?

But more baffling is the association of socialism with Biden. Through the Covid stimulus, the Trump administration has “given away” more public funds to the country than any before in history, probably (and I need to do the math) more than all previous administrations combined. I don’t call that socialism, I call it good use of government funds during a severe economic crisis, even though not enough went to the working class and the businesses in jeopardy. I am not blaming Trump or his administration for this. But calling Biden a socialist in light of this seems ludicrous.

Attributing Marxism to Biden is just crazy. Dorrington obviously is just throwing the word around. I bet he has never read a word Marx wrote.

But 70 million people read these comments every day on Facebook.

I have a hard time excepting [sic] that.

 


We all know who John Bolton is, we all know how his tenure at the White House started and ended, and we know Bolton’s role, or lack thereof, in the Trump impeachment proceedings.

So I don’t have to tell you what this book is about, but I can rather focus on telling you my experience reading the book, about what I learned, and, most importantly, what conclusions I drew.

John Bolton has been around the United States government, and particularly foreign policy, for decades. I knew little about him, and I would simply have categorized him a “hawk” in line with the generally liberal sentiment in my usual circles. When I first heard that Trump was going to install him as National Security Advisor, I was deeply worried that his hawkishness would get us into new conflicts and would even further endanger our already very dangerous world.

I bought the book the day it first came out on June 23, 2020, and started reading it right away. But it is a long book, with detailed, journal-like narration describing events as they took place with sometimes down to the minute accuracy. It really does put the reader into the room where it happened. The book is very long, and takes a long time to read, so I had to interrupt reading it when Mary Trump’s book came out, so I could read that one right way, and then again I had to lay it aside to make room and time for Michael Cohen’s book. But I kept going back and I forced myself to slog through it, and I finished tonight.

Trump fought vehemently to have the publication of The Room Where it Happened blocked. I expected some type of tell-all book, but that’s not at all what it is. It basically talks about the United States foreign policy from the point of view of a man who deeply understands it and has lived it all his life. Since Trump has no understanding of world affairs and any matters that don’t involve him personally, clearly this book will “make Trump look bad,” not because Bolton says Trump is a fool or anything like it, but because Bolton allows us to sit in the room with him, and Trump, and Mulvaney, and Mattis, and Pompeo, and we can watch Trump make a fool of himself by showing clearly and overtly that he does not know what he is talking about, that he has no interest in governing and certainly not foreign affairs, and that he is as smart as the last person he talked to wants him to be. That was particularly dangerous and ludicrously embarrassing for our country when he “negotiated” with Putin, Kim Jong-un, Erdogan, Xi, and pretty much every other adversary of our national interests.

Bolton does not make Trump look bad. Bolton just shows us how inept Trump is for all of us plain to see. Unlike Trump, where his supporters always are quoted saying “he tells it like it is,” Bolton actually does tell it like it is.

Bolton is definitely a proponent of America carrying a big stick and operating from strength. Trump just thinks of himself being the smartest man in the room, and he tells us that all the time, and he thinks he is the big stick. Yet, Bolton shows us clearly that Trump was and is our most serious security risk, consistent with what we have learned from Mattis, McMaster, Coats and the entire national security establishment. I can see why Trump didn’t want this book published.

I know that a lot of Trump supporters have blasted Bolton as a traitor for writing this. Well, let me tell you this: If 3% of all Trump supporters actually read The Room Where it Happened, I’d be very surprised. To read this, you have to be very patient, persistent, interested in foreign polity, and tenacious. This is NOT AN EASY book to read, and I predict most people who buy the book won’t finish it. So let them blab about Bolton being a traitor, or let the liberals blab about him being a hawk. Neither side knows what it is talking about. They have to read the book first before I would take them seriously.

And here is my probably shocking conclusion: On a scale from 1 to 10, my respect for Bolton, for what I knew about him before reading the book, may have been around 2. It’s now at 9 or so. I actually believe he would be an excellent pick for Biden to choose for Secretary of State. It would ensure that our foreign relations would be rebuilt, corrected, and put on a secure footing. Our adversaries would be on notice and our security would be enhanced. By choosing Bolton for this critical slot, Biden would ensure consistency from the past, a strong presence in the world, and he could focus on the many domestic issues that need attention, without having to lose sleep about what’s going on in the world. I know this opinion of mine will shake up some of my readers, but I stand by it.

Now, of course, there is no chance Biden will do such a thing, and history will continue.

I gained a lot of respect for Bolton by reading his book, and his mustache doesn’t bother me one bit.

This allegory was posted on Facebook by a Trump voter I have very high respect for, whom I will keep anonymous:

Big dispute in the chicken house about the latest vote on “which is better – white or brown eggs”–more votes than chickens and some are too young to vote-some votes came from stew pot chicken and biscuits. They were cooked several years ago – some mail in votes were received after the votes were being counted. The BIG ROOSTER invalidated all the votes and said only those who can validate their eligibility to vote can be counted. Those who oppose this ruling are marching in protest outside the coop with signs that says “WE WANT ALL VOTES TO COUNT”– Some votes were found under the chicken house and under the feed barrel. some were in the mail two days after the election and were counted–such a mess.

Here are my thoughts on the various subjects:

Chicken and biscuits voting: Occasionally such votes are found, but it is actually very rare. They find onesies and twosies coming into the coop from time to time. It turns out that the chicken and biscuits votes are as often from white meat chicken as they are from dark meat chicken. I don’t think any coop counsel would object to discarding chicken and biscuit ballots, when they are identified. But no coop counsel has ever, in the history of chickendom, found enough chicken and biscuit ballots to overturn any election. 

Some chickens are too young to vote: Same problem. Coops have occasionally found invalid ballots like this, but they are as often from white meat chicken as they are from dark meat chicken.

Some were in mail two days after the election: In those coops where ballots have to be mailed and postmarked by election day, nobody has a problem with discarding those ballots. Any coop counsel, when presented with this obviously illegal evidence, should and will discard those ballots.

Votes found under the chicken house and under the feed barrel: When you have to track 150 million pieces of paper in just a few days, sometimes stuff falls down the ladder, gets left in the barn, the yard or the feed barrel. This happens to ballots from white-egg chickens and brown-egg chickens alike. This does not mean that only the brown-egg chickens are dropping ballots.

Some mail in votes were received after the votes were being counted: Many coops legally allow mailing ballots to be received and counted after election day. Here is a chart that outlines the various coops and their rules. There is nothing wrong with that. That’s the law. 

The BIG ROOSTER has had four years to make sure that the election system works, and according to the lead cock in charge of safeguarding the elections, they have been the safest and most secure elections ever. The BIG ROOSTER however didn’t like that the lead cock did his job so well, because the numbers didn’t work out for the big rooster, and all the hens are cackling now. So the lead cock is now stew.

Sad.

We now have four years of time to work out some of the remaining kinks with the ballots, not because there was widespread fraud, but because the crowing of the BIG ROOSTER that the election is rigged has confused half the chickens in all the coops.

Meanwhile, the hens are back to laying eggs, brown and white alike, all the roosters are crowing, and I no longer listen the the tweets of the BIG ROOSTER.

Vaccine Priorities

My blogger friend salsawordtraveler has posted his thoughts about priority of vaccinations here. He asked for our input.

Here is my list:

1. Medical workers (doctors, nurses, EMT, firemen, ambulance drivers, nursing home staff)
2. Delivery people (Amazon, FedEx, UPS, USPS, all the folks who come to your door)
3. Teachers, childcare workers, the folks taking care of our kids, college professors
4. Airport staff (TSA, counter people, food court people)
5. Airline flying staff
6. Bus drivers, train conductors
7. Grocery store staff (checkers, packers, etc.)
8. Restaurant staff, waiters, cooks, hosts, bartenders
9. Nursing home occupants
10. Anyone over 80
11. Anyone with preexisting conditions
12. Now it’s starting to be my turn…..

It’s reminiscing time, and a high school friend (EP) just sent me this blurb in an email today:

I teach college-level writing, and was looking over an old American classic of writing instruction, the little white paperback called Elements of Style, by Strunk and White.

And this memory came back: The two of us found a stack of these in a Southwestern classroom, maybe Robie’s debate classroom, and we started to joke about it. I can still hear you say in your accented voice from back then, “If you ain’t got style, you ain’t got nothing!”

Rather than responding to him in an email, I thought I’d write this post instead.

My Writing Shelf [click to enlarge to see individual book titles]

Behind my desk is a bookshelf, and the second shelf down is my “writing shelf.” There are dictionaries, a thesaurus, grammar guides (which I still need on a regular basis), handbook, vocabulary builders (the old Word Smart), a couple of rhyming dictionaries so I can whip out a quick poem now and then. Right from the middle I pulled out my trusty old Strunk and White classic that my friend refers to above. It is copyrighted 1979, I paid $2.25 for it (the faded stamp is still in there), so I must have bought it some years after high school.

English is my third language. I still have a discernible accent, but it’s usually not identified as German, which I generally accept as a compliment. My German language development stopped at age 18, so I only have the German language skills and vocabulary of a teenager. But I remember owning a Stilfibel (Handbook of Style) by Ludwig Reiners, which is definitely the equivalent of Strunk and White in the German language.


There is a box of books in my garage, labeled “languages,” which contains dictionaries for Japanese, Latin, French, Spanish and German and many other foreign-language related books, text books, and the like. I believe my original copy of the Stilfibel is still in that box, but I haven’t opened it for decades. Goodness, I would need it if I had to write anything in German today. I am sure my English vocabulary is ten times the size of my native German one by now, and it’s still growing. I still look up words – like “opacity” as elevated by American current events in the last few days.

I try to keep my language skills up, because, after all — if you ain’t got style, you ain’t got nothin’.

 

It all started on Christmas Day 2019, when I received a greeting email from a blogger friend in Australia, whom I have never met in person (who shall remain anonymous here). At the end of the email she added this sentence:

Also, I have to tell you that I am a big fan of your paintings. There have been so many occasions when I was tempted to ask if you sold your art. Because if you do, I’d like to one day make a purchase — never mind the shipping costs.

I responded telling her that I didn’t sell paintings, but I occasionally would create custom ones for friends. What motif did she have in mind?

After she reviewed my online portfolio and pointed out what she liked, it struck me. In back of my studio there had been this “first draft” of a painting I called Aspens that I had been trying to make work for a couple of years that just wasn’t clicking, it wasn’t going anywhere. I thought it might work, so I took this photograph, with yardstick for scale, and sent it to her.

[click to enlarge any of the photographs in this post]

Her response was enthusiastically positive. But I took it with a grain of salt. What do you say when an artist shows you an unfinished first draft that he was planning on turning into a painting for you?

So I got to work. There is nothing that motivates like committing to making a painting for somebody. Now it has to move. Here is what it had turned into by January 16, 2020:

Here we are on January 25:

By end of February it was done:

This was just before the pandemic hit. In the months of March, April and May it cured. Oil paintings take months to dry properly. Then it needed varnishing, which takes another few weeks, at least, to dry sufficiently.

Of course, no painting is done until it is framed. So I took it to the frame shop, picked out a nice frame that I thought would be neutral. When it came back from the shop I put it up in the house for this portrait of Aspens with Artist.

But before shipping it, I thought I’d enjoy it for a little while in my home office, where I spend most of my days working during the pandemic:

But it was time for shipping. I went to U-Haul and got a mirror/art shipping box of the right size, and I called FedEx and UPS to get an idea what it would cost to ship this thing to Australia. That’s when the surprise started. The cheapest shipping I could find was about US $900, and it went up to US $1,600. Now, I consider my work valuable, but a thousand dollars just to ship a painting just didn’t seem like the right thing to do. While my friend had offered to pay for the shipping before, I am sure she had no idea what that would mean, and I would not ask somebody else to pay for something that was outside of the range I myself was willing to pay.

I started thinking about alternatives.

After all the costs of framing, I could take it back out of the frame (and repurpose the frame for another painting), take it off the stretch frame, and ship it in a roll. I was sure that would be cheaper. I first made sure that my friend in Australia had access to a frame shop that would be skilled enough to re-stretch a loose canvas. Also, I suggested to her that rather than paying for the shipment, she could spend the money on a good frame of her choice and get better value that way. Having confirmed that approach, I realized another hurdle: Australia was on the metric system, and there would be no way for a framer to find a 24 inch by 36 inch stretch frame. I would not be able to take the old one apart well enough for it to get reassembled. So I made a trip to Blick Art Supplies in San Diego, pretty much the only place anywhere I know where you can buy stretch frames, and bought two 36 inch sections and two 24 inch sections to ship in the tube with the painting.

Here is the painting, now without its frame, and the shipping tube, along with the stretch frame pieces. Time to take the painting apart.

Then came the next hurdle.

In my day, when I was a struggling young artist, I made my own stretch frames and stretched my own canvases. In the end, they looked like this, with the canvas stapled to the frame. This picture is a cheap store-bought frame. But that’s what I expected.

But no, that’s not what Aspens looked like in the back. I am buying high-end canvases now, and they are not stretched like we used to do it back in the day. This is what they look like now – not that I had paid much attention to it before:

So after committing to taking the painting apart and shipping it in a tube, I had no idea how to actually get it out of this kind of frame, and whether it would be possible to re-stretch it after that. I didn’t want to figure this out on Aspens itself and possibly ruin the painting. Better to experiment first. So I went to the supply store at Michaels where I get most of my canvas and bought the smallest canvas I could get using this stretching methodology. Here is is, ready with tools, to be taken apart:

It turned out it was not so bad. First you remove the corner staples, then there is a bead of caulk pushed down into the frame, probably by some machine in China, that both stretches the frame firmly and keeps it tight. Somebody surely made a fortune on that patent. Here is what it looked like after I took it apart:

I was relieved. It was not hard to do and the canvas had enough scrap around the edges sufficient for re-stretching later, as long as the framer knew his business. A word of caution here: Do not try this at home unless you know what it takes to stretch a painting. It’s a craft and it takes practice.

Now it was time to take apart the Aspens painting:

It went without a hitch. I took it apart, taped the new stretch bars together, rolled the canvas up with a large sheet of paper against the painting side, and it all fit into my tube snugly.

Here is the full tube, along with the empty old frame.

Now for shipping, I went to the trusty United States Postal Service, right around the time when the government apparently tried to sabotage the postal service to hinder the smooth execution of the federal election. So everything associated with shipping with USPS did not go so well. But you can’t beat the price. It cost me US $69.00 to ship the tube to Australia. I was excited when it left. I figured it would take a week or so.

By now you have probably figured out why I titled this post “The Odyssey.” The odyssey continued. Here is the tracking log of the tube trying to leave the country:

I truly don’t understand what the painting did lingering in San Diego for a week, before finally making it to Los Angeles, where it bounced around for another two weeks, before finally moving on to San Francisco to get on a plane to Australia. Once in Australia, it took some more time to arrive.

When my friend tried to take it to the frame shop she found out that, being a retail business, the pandemic lockdown had been extended to the end of October. She would not be able to take it in until then.

Well, today, almost a year after the Aspens project started, she send me this picture of herself with the painting it its new frame.

This was taken today in Australia. I have to say, the frame works beautifully with the painting, and the color scheme matches her décor better than I could ever have chosen remotely.

I am glad this project is done. Aspens is on the other side of the world, and it has a good home.

The History of Time Travel, filmed in 2014, is a fictional documentary about a man who invents the world’s first time machine. What is a “fictional documentary” you may ask?

The entire movie is being narrated by various “authorities” like the general shown above, as well as scientists, journalists, and others. The are being interviewed and they tell the story of Richard Page, a physicist who invents time travel. The story involves his wife and two sons, who eventually carry on his work. While the narrations take place, there are grainy scenes of the Richard and his contemporaries during various periods in history.

As you might surmise, a time machine will quickly attract the attention of the government and military organizations, as well as foreign adversaries, and they will do what they can to obtain the technology. With the technology being the ability to travel in time, things tend to get interesting.

There is no good synopsis to write for this movie without giving away its inherent cleverness. But clever it is. It does require careful attention, and I suspect it’s the kind of movie that would be best watched at least twice. It is now streaming on Netflix, so you can do just that.

Hint: It helps if you have busied yourself marveling about time travel, like I have, and I suspect I am rating it higher than I would otherwise.

I will let Joan Baez speak for herself.

However, I did enjoy hearing her speak French.

Now that the election is over in the United States, and the apparently sabotaged United States Postal Service is still operating, it’s time not to let up and continue to try to figure out what’s wrong with the postal service and what we can do to fix it.

I have been outspoken and critical of the postal service in this blog for a good ten years now. Just type USPS into the search box at the top of the screen and Search. You’ll find a number of relevant posts.

I believe we need a functioning postal service in this country, and I don’t think privatizing it will work for the people, but rather for the private companies.

During the last several months our company has noticed that checks to pay bills posted with the USPS would either get lost entirely, or, as in one recent case, take over 4 weeks to arrive. When one vendor payment of over $20,000 didn’t arrive, we had to cancel the check, put out a stop payment order, and then send a replacement via FedEx. A month later, the original check arrived at its destination. Where did it spend its time?

A few months ago I shipped painting rolled up in a tube to Australia. It cost $69.00 in postage. Here is the USPS tracking information:

Notice how the shipment lingered in San Diego, and Los Angeles, and finally in San Francisco for weeks before finally making it onto a plane to Australia. What was it doing for two weeks in Los Angeles? This is the age where you can place an Amazon order in the morning on a Sunday and get delivery by Sunday afternoon!

Today I saw a Facebook post by a friend who ordered socks online, and here is her tracking information – which I recommend you read bottom up. As of this posting, she hasn’t receive the socks yet. She lives in Lakewood, NY, so you can see the socks got pretty close on Nov 12 at 8:48am, but then again departed via Randolph and back to Buffalo to make another detour:

November 13, 2020, 1:56 am
Arrived at USPS Regional Destination Facility
BUFFALO NY DISTRIBUTION CENTER
Your item arrived at our BUFFALO NY DISTRIBUTION CENTER destination facility on November 13, 2020 at 1:56 am.
The item is currently in transit to the destination.

November 12, 2020, 9:03 am
Arrived at USPS Facility
RANDOLPH, NY 14772

November 12, 2020, 8:48 am
Out for Delivery
LAKEWOOD, NY 14750

November 12, 2020, 8:37 am
Arrived at Post Office
RANDOLPH, NY 14772

November 11, 2020, 10:54 pm
Departed USPS Regional Destination Facility
BUFFALO NY DISTRIBUTION CENTER

November 11, 2020, 9:39 pm
Accepted at USPS Regional Destination Facility
BUFFALO NY DISTRIBUTION CENTER

November 11, 2020
In Transit to Next Facility

November 10, 2020, 1:22 pm
Arrived at USPS Regional Facility
BUFFALO NY DISTRIBUTION CENTER

November 10, 2020, 9:36 am
Arrived at USPS Regional Facility
NORTHWEST ROCHESTER NY DISTRIBUTION CENTER

November 10, 2020, 9:16 am
Departed USPS Regional Facility
ROCHESTER NY DISTRIBUTION CENTER

November 10, 2020, 8:31 am
Arrived at USPS Regional Facility
ROCHESTER NY DISTRIBUTION CENTER

November 10, 2020, 2:47 am
Departed USPS Facility
LANCASTER, PA 17601

November 9, 2020, 11:03 pm
USPS in possession of item
LANCASTER, PA 17601

November 9, 2020, 7:57 pm
Departed Shipping Partner Facility, USPS Awaiting Item
YORK, PA 17402
Shipping Partner: OSM WORLDWIDE

November 9, 2020, 5:09 pm
Arrived Shipping Partner Facility, USPS Awaiting Item
YORK, PA 17402
Shipping Partner: OSM WORLDWIDE

November 7, 2020, 2:28 pm
Departed Shipping Partner Facility, USPS Awaiting Item
NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV 89032
Shipping Partner: OSM WORLDWIDE

November 6, 2020, 9:15 pm
Arrived Shipping Partner Facility, USPS Awaiting Item
NORTH LAS VEGAS, NV 89032
Shipping Partner: OSM WORLDWIDE

October 30, 2020, 9:06 am
Shipping Label Created, USPS Awaiting Item

Obviously, it’s no wonder that the USPS is not profitable, when it carries a package of socks seemingly all over the country before delivering it. I don’t know what shipping of a package of socks costs, but it can’t be much. Just the tracking of this shipment far outweighs the postage.

I don’t think postmaster DeJoy went about fixing the postal service the right way, but good grief, fixing is sorely needed.

Seb is a regular dude who finds a new girlfriend. One day, without warning, he just disappears. Or at least that’s what it looks like for us in the normal world. From his point of view, he simply wakes up a year later, skipping forward in time. From his girlfriend’s point of view, he was gone, and then, without explanation a year later, he comes back. It takes several of these jumps before the two of them figure this out. How do you have a relationship with a man who is only “with you” one day every year?

This movie is surprisingly well done for such a weird central concept. It’s a movie looking for a reason to exist, but, hey, it came out in 2020, what do we expect?

 

 

 

The Democratic Party Convention in 1968 took place in Chicago. It was the height of the Vietnam War, President Johnson had increased the number of soldiers in the war, and instituted an increase of the draft. Every day, innocent soldiers died in Vietnam. Back home, many activists were incensed and called for demonstrations at the Democratic convention. As history knows, those demonstrations turned violent and bloody.

After Nixon’s election in 1968, the Justice Department of the new administration wanted a poster trial, and appointed a reluctant young prosecutor named Richard Schultz to come after who became known as the Chicago 7: Abbie Hoffman, Jerry Rubin, David Dellinger, Tom Hayden, Rennie Davis, John Froines, and Lee Weiner. They were all charged with conspiracy, inciting to riot, and other charges related to protests that took place in Chicago. Bobby Seale, an eighth man, and a member of the Black Panthers, who was not involved, was also charged in the trial and was forced to participate without legal representation. His trial was eventually pronounced a mistrial.

The trial was a 6-month-long spectacle, accentuated by antics of some of the defendants who were not shy about displaying their civil disobedience.

Abbie Hoffman is played by Sacha Baron Cohen, the “Borat” guy, and I really didn’t recognize him until I checked the cast later. He does not have any noticeable accent and while Abbie’s role is somewhat comic, there is nothing comical about this performance. Cohen does a great job playing Abbie Hoffman.

The Trial of the Chicago 7 is one of the best movies I have watched all year. It features the corruption of the government, particularly the Justice Department, under a president with autocratic tendencies (Nixon) and his loyal Attorney General, John Mitchell. Yes, “the” John Mitchell who was later convicted and went to federal prison for his role in the Watergate affair.

The Trial of the Chicago 7 is as relevant a movie today in 2020, as it would have been back in 1970.

History does seem to repeat itself.

 

 

If you want to learn more about what Trump thinks about polls and voting, read Chapter 10 – How to Fix a Poll – by Michael Cohen.

I previously wrote about it in this post.

Usually I put a photograph here that represents the movie, and if I can’t find a good one, at least the movie poster is better than nothing. I could not find any images for Chronological Order. Rotten Tomatoes does not have it listed at all, and IMDb has a listing with a few details, the trailer, but no images at all. And there are no images to be found relating to this movie in a Google image search.

That all tells you something, I guess.

This 2010 movie is about a guy named Guy – how creative – (Brett Jacobsen) who lives somewhere in a beach town in Southern California. All the scenes looked eerily familiar. Somehow, we never find out exactly how and why he is rich. Rich enough to have nothing to do. He has a lawyer named Murray (Vic Stagliano) who is also his best, and apparently only friend. There is also a dad that is part of the picture. Guy does not seem brilliant enough to have made his own money and sold out, and he also didn’t inherit it from his father, because we find out that he supports his father. But be that as it may.

One day Guy walks along the ocean and a door (with hinges and a door knob) washes up on the beach in front of him. We see him take the door home. It’s not clear how he manages that, since his only means of transportation is a bicycle. He must have walked home with the door, but that leaves the question on how he then got the bicycle home. I guess he made two trips.  The movie is full of plot holes like this.

Don’t ask how, but he figures out that when he mounts the door and walks through it, he travels back in time. This enables him to stalk himself in the past and leave notes for himself, presumably to change his life.

This is a bad movie, with a seriously flawed plot, poor execution, pretty bad and stilted acting, unrealistic dialog, especially between Guy and his father, and not much of a story line to follow.

I would normally give it one star at best, but I boosted it by a half, because of three small reasons: (1) I did chuckle occasionally about the quirky scenes with the door, (2) it’s a time travel story and I have an affinity for those, and (3), I found the score (the music) actually quirky and a bit refreshing.

Now don’t all run to Amazon Prime to watch this masterpiece, unless, of course, you’re time travel buffs. Then you have to.

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