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Tuesday, November 26, 2019

It Seems Silly But I Watch It Every Year

You have a favorite movie you simply need to see over and over again? I guess many people have favorite movies they have seen at one time and remember for years and decades. I have one too. It is Chevy Chase in Christmas Vacations. 

Ever since I saw that movie the first time (it was in Norway) I am addicted to it. Before Christmas rolls around, I look it up on YouTube and I have a wonderful time with this crazy American family chasing a dream of the perfect family-style old-fashioned Christmas. 

It is nothing but a persiflage of American customs depicting certain types of American behavior and so full of enjoyment and American Tradition.

The movie has its comical moments and the actors are giving their best. It's popular even in Europe and has made many families to start decorating their homes the American way. Some have even gone so far as to purchase light chains in the U.S. and installing equipment to change voltage from the European 220V to 110V.

The movie also emphasizes the romantic notion of a "White Christmas", and as a boy I remember the disappointment we always felt when we had no snow at Christmas.
On the other hand we had a hard time containing our excitement when snow finally arrived. Our European-style sleds came out and we were heading off to the next slope to have hours of fun, often returning home shortly before complete darkness. We could steer the sleds by putting one foot in the snow or brake it by using both feet as a brake. I remember mom coming with us once. We had one extra-long sled and mom was sitting behind me holding on to me in the front. The sled ran over a bump, made a jump and broke under us when it landed. Chevy Chase has a scene in the movie running down a slope on a metal disc. It always reminds me of my own experience.

Now that I am old looking back at those gone-by days, I am more than happy when we have a green Christmas instead of having to deal with all that pesky snow.
Image result for Alter Rodelschlitten
Are the kids still having such fun? Probably, even though they might have it with different type of equipment.
Enjoy the peace where ever you are!

Sunday, November 24, 2019

The Parallels

Recently I viewed an extensive documentary about "The Democratic People's Republic of North Korea". It was accomplished during an extensive journey through the DPRK. You have to see it, if you want to understand it. But there is some thing I noticed while watching the production.

What North Korean people are supposed to do (and they do it) is showing their endless respectful servitude and deference to "the dynasty of the Kims". North Korea exists as a personal cult to their leader. The country is literally doused in statues and graphics showing the dominating presence of the Kims and, by that, the dominance of the government. And that is exactly the reason why Trump is so impressed with Kim Jong Un and his rule. The U.S. president wants a Military Parade North Korea Style. He'd love his picture at every street corner and a statue on every big plaza of the nation. And just as Kim Yong Un he is giving a Fu**ing Sh*T about the common man on the street. But he is a master of manipulating uneducated idiots appearing at his rallies.

He hates the U.S. constitution limiting him to excel in endless power. He dreams of being a stable genius and ruling the country in his "great and unmatched wisdom". (Citation: As I have stated strongly before, and just to reiterate, if Turkey does anything that I, in my great and unmatched wisdom, consider to be off limits, I will totally destroy and obliterate the Economy of Turkey


The U.S. President, a repeat draft dodger, is seeing himself as a supreme ruler of the nation. Unfortunately for him, he suffers from a severe lack of intelligence, which ultimately will lead to his demise.

His days are now full of angry mood swings for he is facing sure-fire impeachment and an embarrassing trial in the senate. 

And in his helplessness all he knows how to act, is throwing insults to just about anybody who has been or is contradicting him. His steady and daily produced lies on Twitter makes him the most ridiculous president in the history of the United States. 

Fortunately, the U.S. does have a constitution built on democratic principles, even though the G.O.P. is doing everything to put aside the constitution to empower and support their supreme leader and by that keeping themselves in the seat. Egoism is the order of the day!

It will ultimately be up to the American public to decide whether they want to live in North Korea-Style-America or if they prefer a social democracy for themselves and future generations.

And before I forget it, here is the YouTube link for the documentary. It's quite long and very detailed but also very educational for an ignorant G.O.P. American.

https://youtu.be/_TReGTYE_gc



Thursday, November 21, 2019

Dixie And I Almost Met A Moose

Regardless of the weather I have to take Dixie out for a walk every day. It is a grey day today but no rain nor snow. We still have snow-bare trails on the island. So I decided to take one of the brand new trails the Roosevelt Park created this summer. Those trails are just so beautiful and you never meet anyone.

So also today. The trail goes on for a about 1.5 miles, it's untouched, it's closed for vehicles and the fresh gravel didn't show any foot prints.

The trail is a dead end, meaning we gotta walk back to the parking lot. We were on our return walk and Dixie, being off-leash, was strolling through the woods, but always staying close to the trail, I was enjoying the peace on the trail itself.

Suddenly, I noticed tracks on the trail. BIG tracks and they were coming off the tree stands on the upside of the trail. DARN...those tracks hadn't been there just a few minutes earlier. I identified them as Moose tracks. Moose tracks can resemble those of a horse. The indentations in the gravel indicated a big heavy animal. The tracks were running ahead of us. I began being worried that the moose might be still standing still some where in the forest ready to attack Dixie, who was still strolling through the woods on my left side. I called her over with the magic word COOKIE and she came right over. I put her on her leash and we continued cautiously along the trail. When coming at the fork from where the trail runs left into a bog area and the other part right up to the parking lot, I saw the moose had taken to the left into the bog.
I was mad with myself that I had not taken my camera or my phone with me, so you have to take me by my word. Needless to say I was a bit shaken as it must have been just minutes I had missed the meeting with the "King of the Forest".

Sunday, November 10, 2019

I Almost Incinerated A Cake

Ask my friends, neighbours or family....I am a cake-man. I would walk miles for the right cake. And if it's Sunday and I have no cake I'm getting restless - until a decision comes to the forefront. I'm getting myself to the kitchen and start mixing cake ingredients to a dough. 

You guessed it. It's Sunday and I was outa cake. Some apples into it and raisins, topped off with a slight sprinkle of cinnamon. There it goes right into the preheated stove, set the clock to 40 minutes and relax. I know that cake, have made it hundreds of times. All good.

Then Bea's American relative called. We talked and talked. Suddenly I noticed a peculiar smell from the kitchen. 

THE C A K E!!

But 40 minutes aren't over, there is the clock - 5 minutes left.

Arriving in the kitchen I have difficulties seeing the stove. Blue smoke is obscuring the picture, and.......MAN that smell. Something burns or what?

I run to open doors and windows. When getting to the stove I can make out a ring of coals. Geez...what's happening???

Gosh, my cake has turned into a ring of coals. I rip out the form, run for the outdoors.

The hot cake ends up in the garbage container. PRONTO! It will take a while to get rid of the burn smell in the house. 
Meanwhile, Bea has finished off her phone conversation. It's confession time for me.

Realizing I lost my cake, I grab the car keys. Next stop is the grocery store in Lubec Maine... They got some good stuff there.
Arriving at the US border the officer is asking the usual question about where I am heading. 
I tell him "we have a cake emergency and a bad smell in the house. I'm heading to the IGA in town". He's breaking down in laughter. Good for him.

I got a coupla nice pieces of cheesecake, which we then ate with whipped up cream. Sunday afternoon was saved. Now I have to scrub the cake form. Oh well...... 

Saturday, November 9, 2019

An Ever So Slight Taste Of Winter

It must have something to do with me getting older, but I think summers are getting shorter and winters are approaching faster. It's only the beginning of the 2. week of November, but the temps fell like a rock from comfortable 55-60F to 26F. And then there was the weather forecast blabbering about snow at copious amounts.

Bah...I thought, not here at the coast. Water is too warm yet. 
                  A white dusting of fresh snow

Hate to admit it, but I was proven wrong and the weather man was right. Friday afternoon snowflakes were flying by horizontally down the street. Darn....and before I knew it the outside world had turned white. 

This morning it was 26F and a strong cold wind made be shiver even though I was in my thick winter jacket. 
I tried to walk through the woods, but there I was in the shade. 
Hard to see Dixie in the pic to the left, but there she was. White dog in the snow


 

Looks like Christmas already
Beach was better as we had full-blast sunshine and a sharp reflection . I let Dixie stroll back and forth and we walked up to the outlook above Herring Cove. A bit colder there so we crossed back over to where I had parked the van.


Dixie had been very good this morning so I had a few treats for her. Two days ago it didn't go so well. Bea had taken her on a longer walk in the Roosevelt Park where Dixie had found some yucky stuff, and of course, she had rolled in it. When she got home that day I thought somebody had emptied a pail of rotten mussels in our living room.

Something needed to be done and the "something" was a trip into the bathroom.

"Bathroom" is an area of the house Dixie hates to be in. It was not easy to get her through the door. But even more adventurous was the move into the tub. She fought against it with all her 83.3 pounds of weight and there wouldn't have been a way to do this for one person alone. Bea was hunched inside the tub ready to do the job, while I cautiously had to lift Dixie into the tub. When it was done Dixie was really mad at us. She retreated onto her bed and slept the rest of the day. 

Dogs have a physical tiredness and a mental one. This time around Dixie was both. Even the next morning she was late down from her bed. Was that a gloomy look she just gave me? I really don't know, but I did feel very sorry for her.

Meanwhile, she seem to have restored her trust in us. It'll be a long time until her next trip to the tub.

Have a great day and thanks for stopping by.

Tuesday, November 5, 2019

In Case You Missed It:

When ever we stayed in the southwestern area of Arizona or California we heard discussions about whether or not it would be safe to take a trip to Mexico. Lately, the country has outpaced the U.S. in violence and I have no doubt that traveling to Mexico is not advisable for anyone, especially since Mexican law enforcement is neither capable nor willing to clean up the horrendous crime. The following article appeared in the New York Times and should keep you from even thinking of entering that country.

At Least 9 Members of Mormon Family Are Killed in Ambush in Mexico

Six children were among the victims in a massacre attributed to organized crime. Other children were rescued, some of whom hid along a roadside.

By Azam Ahmed, Elisabeth Malkin and Daniel Victor
Nov. 5, 2019Updated 4:12 a.m. ET

MEXICO CITY — At least three women and six children in a prominent local Mormon family were killed on Monday when their vehicles were ambushed in northern Mexico by gunmen believed to be members of organized crime, family members said. The attack alarmed a nation already reeling from 
record violence this year.

Members of the LeBarón family, American citizens who have lived in a fundamentalist Mormon community in the border region for decades, were traveling in three separate vehicles when the gunmen attacked, several family members said. They described a terrifying scene in which one child was gunned down while running away, while others were trapped inside a burning car.

Two of the children killed were less than a year old, the family members said. Kenny LeBarón, a cousin of the women driving the vehicles, said in a telephone interview that he feared the death toll could grow higher.

“When you know there are babies tied in a car seat that are burning because of some twisted evil that’s in this world,” Mr. LeBarón said, “it’s just hard to cope with that.”

Mexico has suffered a string of violent episodes in the last month, each as devastating and infuriating for citizens as the last.

Fourteen police officers were killed in the state of Michoacán in the middle of last month, in an ambush stemming from violent clashes in the state. Days later, cartel gunmen laid siege to the city of Culiacán in the state of Sinaloa, forcing the government to release one of the sons of the infamous drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera, after having captured the son hours earlier.

In both cases, the stark challenges of public security were laid bare, raising questions about the government’s seriousness in combating the spiraling violence.

But Monday’s brutal killings seem to have hit a new low, with infants, children and their mothers murdered in broad daylight. It threatened to become a galvanizing moment for citizens fed up with the endless bloodshed and the government’s inability to do much about it.

Details of the attack remained murky early Tuesday, as state and local authorities struggled to determine the extent of the violence, and how exactly it unfolded.

It was unclear whether the attackers intentionally targeted the family, which has historically spoken out about the criminal groups that plague the northern border states of Sonora and Chihuahua, or whether it was a case of mistaken identity.

Julian LeBarón, a cousin of the three women who were driving the vehicles, said in a telephone interview from Bavispe, Mexico, that the women and their children had been traveling from the state of Sonora to the state of Chihuahua.

His cousin Rhonita was traveling to Phoenix to pick up her husband, who works in North Dakota and was returning to celebrate the couple’s wedding anniversary. Her car broke down, Mr. LeBarón said, and the gunmen “opened fire on Rhonita and torched her car.”

She was killed, along with an 11-year-old boy, a 9-year-old girl and twins who were less than a year old, he said.

About eight miles ahead, the two other cars were also attacked, killing the two other women, Mr. LeBarón said. A 4-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl were also killed, he said.

Family members said several children were rescued, some having hidden by the roadside to escape the attackers.

“Six little kids were killed, and seven made it out alive,” Mr. LeBarón said.

The women had married men from La Mora, which is in the municipality of Bavispe in Sonora. The surviving children were being taken by helicopter from Bavispe, the town closest to the La Mora community, to a hospital, he said.

He expressed bewilderment over what could have precipitated the attack. “They intentionally murdered those people,” Mr. LeBarón said. “We don’t know what their motives were.”

One of the women even got out of her car, Mr. LeBarón said, and put up her hands. “They shot her point blank in the chest,” he said.

Mr. LeBarón said the family had not received any threats, other than general warnings not to travel to Chihuahua, where they typically went to buy groceries and fuel.

As he watched the helicopter fly off with the injured children, Mr. LeBarón said that perhaps the killings would finally spur enough outrage to force change.

“We need the Mexican people to say at some point, we’ve had enough,” he said. “We need accountability; we don’t have that on any level.”

The massacre came a decade after two other members of the LeBarón family 
were kidnapped and murdered after they confronted the drug gangs that exercise de facto control over the empty endless spaces of the borderlands south of Arizona.

A family member and other Mormons settled a town in Mexico in the 1940s; many of its residents speak English and have dual citizenship.

Friday, November 1, 2019

So How Are We Doing?

When ever we stayed in the southwestern area of Arizona or California we heard discussions about whether or not it would be safe to take a trip to Mexico. Lately, the country has outpaced the U.S. in violence and I have no doubt that traveling to Mexico is not advisable for anyone, especially since Mexican law enforcement is neither capable nor willing to clean up the horrendous crime. The following article appeared in the New York Times and should keep you from even thinking of entering that country.

At Least 9 Members of Mormon Family Are Killed in Ambush in Mexico

Six children were among the victims in a massacre attributed to organized crime. Other children were rescued, some of whom hid along a roadside.

By Azam Ahmed, Elisabeth Malkin and Daniel Victor
Nov. 5, 2019Updated 4:12 a.m. ET

MEXICO CITY — At least three women and six children in a prominent local Mormon family were killed on Monday when their vehicles were ambushed in northern Mexico by gunmen believed to be members of organized crime, family members said. The attack alarmed a nation already reeling from 
record violence this year.

Members of the LeBarón family, American citizens who have lived in a fundamentalist Mormon community in the border region for decades, were traveling in three separate vehicles when the gunmen attacked, several family members said. They described a terrifying scene in which one child was gunned down while running away, while others were trapped inside a burning car.

Two of the children killed were less than a year old, the family members said. Kenny LeBarón, a cousin of the women driving the vehicles, said in a telephone interview that he feared the death toll could grow higher.

“When you know there are babies tied in a car seat that are burning because of some twisted evil that’s in this world,” Mr. LeBarón said, “it’s just hard to cope with that.”

Mexico has suffered a string of violent episodes in the last month, each as devastating and infuriating for citizens as the last.

Fourteen police officers were killed in the state of Michoacán in the middle of last month, in an ambush stemming from violent clashes in the state. Days later, cartel gunmen laid siege to the city of Culiacán in the state of Sinaloa, forcing the government to release one of the sons of the infamous drug lord Joaquín Guzmán Loera, after having captured the son hours earlier.

In both cases, the stark challenges of public security were laid bare, raising questions about the government’s seriousness in combating the spiraling violence.

But Monday’s brutal killings seem to have hit a new low, with infants, children and their mothers murdered in broad daylight. It threatened to become a galvanizing moment for citizens fed up with the endless bloodshed and the government’s inability to do much about it.

Details of the attack remained murky early Tuesday, as state and local authorities struggled to determine the extent of the violence, and how exactly it unfolded.

It was unclear whether the attackers intentionally targeted the family, which has historically spoken out about the criminal groups that plague the northern border states of Sonora and Chihuahua, or whether it was a case of mistaken identity.

Julian LeBarón, a cousin of the three women who were driving the vehicles, said in a telephone interview from Bavispe, Mexico, that the women and their children had been traveling from the state of Sonora to the state of Chihuahua.

His cousin Rhonita was traveling to Phoenix to pick up her husband, who works in North Dakota and was returning to celebrate the couple’s wedding anniversary. Her car broke down, Mr. LeBarón said, and the gunmen “opened fire on Rhonita and torched her car.”

She was killed, along with an 11-year-old boy, a 9-year-old girl and twins who were less than a year old, he said.

About eight miles ahead, the two other cars were also attacked, killing the two other women, Mr. LeBarón said. A 4-year-old boy and a 6-year-old girl were also killed, he said.

Family members said several children were rescued, some having hidden by the roadside to escape the attackers.

“Six little kids were killed, and seven made it out alive,” Mr. LeBarón said.

The women had married men from La Mora, which is in the municipality of Bavispe in Sonora. The surviving children were being taken by helicopter from Bavispe, the town closest to the La Mora community, to a hospital, he said.

He expressed bewilderment over what could have precipitated the attack. “They intentionally murdered those people,” Mr. LeBarón said. “We don’t know what their motives were.”

One of the women even got out of her car, Mr. LeBarón said, and put up her hands. “They shot her point blank in the chest,” he said.

Mr. LeBarón said the family had not received any threats, other than general warnings not to travel to Chihuahua, where they typically went to buy groceries and fuel.

As he watched the helicopter fly off with the injured children, Mr. LeBarón said that perhaps the killings would finally spur enough outrage to force change.

“We need the Mexican people to say at some point, we’ve had enough,” he said. “We need accountability; we don’t have that on any level.”

The massacre came a decade after two other members of the LeBarón family were 
kidnapped and murdered after they confronted the drug gangs that exercise de facto control over the empty endless spaces of the borderlands south of Arizona.

A family member and other Mormons settled a town in Mexico in the 1940s; many of its residents speak English and have dual citizenship.