Recently Read Books

  • A Delicate Truth- John Le Carre (fiction)
  • Perfect - Rachel Joyce (Fiction)
  • The Expats - Chris Pavone (Fiction)
  • An Event in Autumn - Henning Mankel (Fiction)
  • Winter in Madrid - C.J.Sansom (Fiction)
  • The Brothers - John Foster Dulles and Allen Dulles - non-fiction
  • LIfe Among Giants - Bill Roorbach (Novel)
  • Empty Mansions - Bill Dedman (non-fiction)
  • Woodrow Wilson (non fiction)
  • Lawrence in Arabia (Non-Fiction)
  • In Sunlight and In Shadow by Mark Helpren (Fiction)
  • Lesson in French - Hilary Reyl (fiction)
  • Unbroken- Laura Hillenbrand (Non-Fiction)
  • Venice, A New History- Thomas Madden - (Non- Fiction)
  • Life is a Gift - Tony Bennett Autobiography
  • The First Counsell - Brad Meltzer (Fiction)
  • Destiny of the Republic - President James Garfield non-fiction by Candice Millard
  • The Last Lion (volume III)- William Manchester and Paul Reid (non-fiction, Winston Churchill)
  • Yellowstone Autumn -W.D. Wetherell (non-fiction about turning 55 and fishing in Yellowstone)
  • Everybody was Young- (non-fiction Paris in the 1920's)
  • Scorpion - (non fiction US Supreme Court)
  • Supreme Power - Jeff Shesol (non-fiction)
  • Zero day by David Baldacci ( I read all of Baldacci's Books)
  • Northwest Angle - William Kent Krueger (fiction - I have read 5 or 6 books by this author)
  • Camelot's Court-Insider the Kennedy Whitehouse- Robert Dallek
  • Childe Hassam -Impressionist (a beautiful book of his paintings)

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

I had a Dream (Two Dreams Actually)

There is a song I like from the 1960's - "Last Night I had the Strangest Dream".  I awoke this morning from the strangest dreams, two dreams actually.  This blog entry is true, I have not made it up.  It is not meant to entertain or educate, just to report on my dreams of last night.

The first dream was interesting and understandable and in fact, pleasant.  The setting of the dream was the Ironwood Country Club dining room with all of the partition doors open resulting in a very large room.  I was sitting in an almost empty room with one of my pals, Steve R.  In real life, as opposed to dream life, Steve and his wife Cathy live in Salt Lake and Palm Desert.  Back to the dream. Steve and I were sitting at a table taking about something. I don't know what we were talking about.  This is,I suppose is not different than my real life in which, according to the Lovely Sharon, I don't know what I am talking about most of the time.  After some time five or six people walked into the dining room and sat down together at a large table.  I did not recognize any of them and really did not pay much attention to them.  Additional people join them over a short period of time and there were some 10 or 12 people at their table.  At some point I looked over to the group again and to my surprise, there sat Joe Scarborough at the end of the table.  Joe Scarborough, do you know him?  The former republican congressman who for the last few years has hosted my favorite program "Morning Joe" each morning from 4:00 am to 7:00 am Salt Lake time. Joe is a conversative news show host whose show has a wide variety of columnists, reporters, politicians. authors and others as daily guests.  His guests are liberal, conservative, left wing, right wing, basically from accross the polictal spectrum.

I my dream I was watching Joe for a few minutes and he looked at me.  He arose from his table and walked toward me and Steve.  He stopped at our table and talked to us for what, in my dream, seemed like a long time. He then left our table.  Ultimately the room filled up with people.  Each table was full, there were tv cameras and lights all over.  Joe was hosting an afternoon live news program in the Ironwood dining room.  During the commercial breaks Joe came over and talked to me and Steve.  Then the dream was over. I awoke and went to the bathroom, thinking "wow, cool dream".

I went back to bed and fell asleep.  Sometime thereafter, another dream hit my psyche.  I was at an ice cream shop on 2100  South in Salt Lake City.  To my surprise, after I walked in I learned that the ice cream parlor was hosting a Mitt Romney campaign event.  There were only about 30 people in the parlor and Mitt Rommney was milling around.  Mitt came over to me and started talking to him.  I told him my views, hopes and desirses for America. I told him in my vision of America. I told hime that I did not believe he was the person to achieve my vision of America.  The conversation was cordial  and it ended.  I headed out of the parlor to the parking lot.  As I was getting in my car, my cell phone beeped to indicate I had received a text.  I looked down and saw that it was from Mitt.  It was a poem.  Mitt had sent me a poem.  I went back into the ice cream shop and sat down.  As Mitt was giving his campaign speach to the few persons in the parlor he was texting me and I was texting him back.  Our texts were all about politics.  I awoke with a start.

Do your remember the Christmas Carol by Charles Dickins?  Scrooge had these dreams and intially attributed them to eating bad cheese or having too much drink for dinner.  I had nothing to drink but water last night and only a chicken breast to eat.

I suppose the dreams are the result of me being a political junkie. They were strange.  They made me wish that Jon Huntsman was still in the republican presidential race.

OK need to head to work.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Topless Protest

I just read the following news article on Huffingtonpost.com

DAVOS, Switzerland — Three topless Ukrainian protesters were detained Saturday while trying to break into an invitation-only gathering of international CEOs and political leaders to call attention to the needs of the world's poor. Separately, demonstrators from the Occupy movement marched to the edge of the gathering. After a complicated journey to reach the heavily guarded Swiss resort town of Davos, the Ukrainians arrived at the entrance to the complex where the World Economic Forum takes place every year. With temperatures around freezing in the snow-filled town, they took off their tops and tried to climb a fence before being detained. "Crisis! Made in Davos," read one message painted across a protester's torso, while others held banners that said "Poor, because of you" and "Gangsters party in Davos." Davos police spokesman Thomas Hobi said the three women were taken to the police station and will be released later.



Here’s another article from CBS Los Angeles

 "PETA’s latest stunt is making a sudsy mess and captivating drivers in Hollywood. Our cameras were rolling when a distracted motorist caught a glimpse of PETA’s naked beauties and plowed into the car in front of him. The girls are baring it all and showering in public to promote a Vegan lifestyle. PETA says by giving up just one pound of meat, Americans can save up 2,463 gallons of water – or six months of shower water."


There have been many topless PETA protests all over the world


Another Protest:  During the 2007 Presidential Campaign, a number of women took their tops off at a Hillary Clinton campaign event to protest the war in Iraq.



I for one salute these protests.  Americans have a long history of protest:  the revolutionary war, a woman’s right to vote, the Vietnam war, high gasoline prices and on and on.  Protest can be an effective tool of change.

I encourage all women to protest something at least once a month.  If you are a slob at home, your wife should protest, yep, you got it, by taking her top off.  If a woman is outraged because the price of red bell peppers is too high as compared to the price of green bell peppers, protest- baby- protest. If you play too much golf and cards with the boys, that should result in another protest.  If you watch too much football on TV:


I could go on and on as to what are proper causes for a protest, but frankly, I have no limitations; almost any cause would be worthy of a topless protest.

I am certain the Lovely Sharon wlil not like this blog entry.  I no doubt will get in trouble with her.

Hey!! Maybe she will protest it.


Monday, January 23, 2012

New Clothes

When I am not with the Lovely Sharon, I try to be more creative in what I wear.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Golf.  I love it, I hate it. It can make my life better or, it can be a dagger to my heart.  When I am playing well (for me) a four hour round seems like it took about an hour and a half.  When I am playing poorly (which is most of the time), it seems as though a four round just took 6 hours. I have quit the game at least 50 times, maybe a 100 times.  I have hit range balls until my hands bled. I have tried to smile when almost everyone who sees me swing belittles me, my swing, and my ancestors. While I am smiling on the outside, I am screaming on the inside.

I have read hundreds of instruction books, articles and tips.  I have had lessons from at least 10 different teachers.  Nothing seems to stick.  Each book and article seems to contradict each other one.

 I have asked damn near a thousand people how they start their take away or the down swing. Once I past a homeless woman in Sat Lake City who was pushing a shopping cart they held all of  her worldly possessions. I almost stopped her to ask her if she thought I should cock my wrists on the back swing at some point or just let them collapse. I have a tendency to play too stiffed wrist.  Then I overcompensate with an early wrist cock.  I have blogged before about how to start the down swing.  Not only I have I never quite figured out how to start the down swing, I also don’t know when or even if to cock my wrists on the back swing. 

So you know you are pathetic when you don’t know how to take the club away, once have completed the take away, you don’t know how to start the downswing.  I am getting to the point where I have uncertainty as to which pair of golf shoes to wear for any particular round of golf and once I have selected a pair, then which shoe goes on which foot.

Years ago, I didn’t think about anything when I swung the club.  I had an ugly swing but I just did it and my handicap got down to a 10.  I can live with a 10.  But over the last 10 years, I have had some back problems the last few years and I have lost flexibility. Over Christmas I played 5 or 6 rounds of golf.  For me I played pretty well and my handicap dropped from a 16 to a 14. I thought I had it figured out.  However, I returned to Utah after Christmas and did not play golf for about 10 days.  When I played again in Palm Desert over the second weekend in January, I was horrible. Whatever I had been doing over Christmas was no longer in my brain or my muscle memory.  When I returned to Utah I looked for a bag lady with whom to discuss the mechanics of the golf swing.  Unfortunately I did not see one with which to discuss this matter.

I need to follow the advice included in the book Golf in the Kingdom: 

"Oh, golf is for smellin' heather & cut grass & walkin' fast across the countryside & feelin' the wind & watchin' the sun go down & seein' yer friends hit good shots & hittin' some yerself. It's love & it's feelin' the splendor o' this good world."

I am ready to play again.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Today

I awoke today in Salt Lake to a pouring rain driven sideways by heavy winds.  I put a load of laundry in the washer and then read the online news.  I had no eggs or cereal in the house so I decided to make me a chicken salad sandwich for breakfast.  An odd choice no doubt but I made do with what I had.  I took a trash sack out to the trash can and was overcome by the cold, driving rain.  The creek in my back yard is full of water, churning and flowing fast.  It felt more like the first of March rather than the middle of January. In the late afternoon the rain turned to snow.

Last night I had dinner with dear friends Norm and Terri at Hidden Valley Country Club.  We had a nice dinner, lively conversation about football, politics and a variety of topics.  After they left, I stayed and talked to friends Jim and Terry who arrived at the club shortly as Norm, Terri and I finished dinner.   After a long day at the law office and a quiet week at home, it was nice to spend time with friends.

With the Lovely Sharon in the desert for the winter it can be a little lonely here in Salt Lake.  I try to occupy my time reading, watching TV news about politics and listening to music.

Today I visited granddaughter Kendall Marie.  She is about 2 ½ now and is beautiful.   She seems to have a constant smile and dancing blue eyes.  What a treasure she is.



I ran errands in the rain- the cleaners, Costco, the grocery store, filled the car with gas and the library. I checked out a couple of non-fiction books, a novel, a book of short stories by F. Scott Fitzgerald written in the 1920’s.  I also checked out Noel Coward’s play “Private Lives”.  I intend to read the play tomorrow.  I am going through a phase where I am reading and thinking a fair amount about the 1920’s and particularly Paris in the 1920’s.  I love reading about the writers, poets and artists who were in Paris during that decade.






Sunday, January 8, 2012

Pick One

I am watching football in Salt Lake and the Lovely Sharon is playing golf in Palm Desert.  So here is my second blog post of the day.  First, I need to confess that I had pizza for lunch.  Don't tell the Lovely Sharon about the pizza.  It is a banned food for me.  She does not read this blog often so I think I can sneak today's pizza by her.  So its our secret.  I was sitting here with pizza sauce all over my face and I was thinking about either-or choices.  Listed below are two choices of various items.  I have listed my choice, although some of the choices were very difficult to make inasmuch as I like both choices.  If you want to add a few either-or's please leave a comment or if you want to make a selction on the one or more of the items listed below, please do so:

Mexican Food or Italian Food (this is so hard since I love them both) -- Italian Food
New York Giants or New York Jets -- New York Giants
NFL or Colleg Football -- College Football 
Scotch or Bourbon -- scotch
Los Angeles or San Francisco -- San Francisco
Pac 12 Conference - SEC Conference -- Pac 12
Scottsdale, AZ or Santa Barbara, CA-- Santa Barbara
Merlot or Zinfandel -  Zinfandel (red)
Alta Ski Resort or Snowbird Ski Resort -- Alta
1940's or 1950's -- 1940's
1920's  or 1930's -- 1920's
Harry Truman or Dwight D. Einsehower  --Truman
Babe Ruth or Lou Gehrig - Lou Gehrig
Cary Grant or Gary Cooper -- Cary Grant
St Andrews Old Course or Turnberry -- Turnberry
New York Times or Washington Post -- New York Times
F. Scott Fitzgerald or Ernest Hemingway -- Hemingway
Scambled eggs or fried eggs -- scrambled
Fox TV or MSNBC TV -- MSNBC
Georgw W. Bush or Bill Clinton -- Clinton
Seattle or Portland -- Seattle
Joe Montana or Steve Young -- Steve Young
Jon Huntsman or Mitt  Rommey  -- Huntsman
Art Nouveua or Art Deco -- Art Deco
Arnold llamer or Jack Nicklaus -- Palmer
Empire State Building or Chrysler Building -- Chrysler Building
5th Avenue (New York) or Madison Avenue - Madison Avenue
Happy Days or Laverne and Shirley -- Happy Days

I woild like to hear from you regarding your choices.

My Backyard Today


 I just finished watching the New Hampshire debate on MSNBC.  I thought Jon Huntsman did a very good job.  I could certainly support him for president.  We finally received some snow in Salt Lake City.  Here are a couple of pictures I just took of our backyard from our bottom level patio:



 

I have blogged before about the Neighbor's Dog who always comes over to the fence and looks at me when I come out of the house. He always wants a treat.  Here is the Neighbor's Dog this morning:


 

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Women

I spent two straight weeks with the Lovely Sharon over the Christmas holidays.  I can’t tell you how nice that was or how much I enjoyed it.  As you may know, for some seven months of the year, we live in different cities and I visit her in Palm Desert where she lives during those seven months.   When I am lucky enough to spend concentrated time with the Lovely Sharon, it reinforces just how much I don’t understand her.  I am not alone in this male bewilderment of the human female species. I call them a species because that is exactly what they are.  The human male is a completely different species.  The male is undoubtedly the less intelligent of the species, but frankly the easier to understand. If a male says to another male, “Nice shirt, did you get dressed in the dark?” The male with the questionable shirt takes no offense and responds with something, like “Do you want to buy some naked pictures of your wife?” What these two, less than intelligent males, are actually saying is “Hey pal how are you doing?” Which is responded to with “Great buddy how are you?” Simple right?

Try those same words with a woman.  I challenge you to go up to a woman and say “Nice blouse, did you get dressed in the dark?”  I can guarantee you that this will not end up good for you.  There will either be crying or violence.  If there is violence, it will not have been initiated by you. Ask the same woman if she wants to buy some naked pictures of her husband and she will no doubt immediately contact her husband, chew him out and demand to know what the heck has he been doing?   It will take the poor husband a couple of hours to grovel, plead and swear on his dead mother’s life that he has done nothing wrong and he does not know what she is talking about.

 If I ask the Lovely Sharon if she likes or liked something (such as dinner, a movie, the shirt I am wearing) she usually responds with, “Its ok”.  She never just says “yes” she says “Its OK”.  I am supposed to be satisfied with that answer. I am supposed to understand that OK means yes.  If she asks me if I like something, such her outfit (I have previously written how men wear clothes and women wear outfits) and I if respond with “Its OK” she immediately says “So you don’t like it?”  I try to explain to her that if OK means yes to her, it should mean yes to me.  It irritates her when I answer with “OK”.  She wants a yes not an OK.  However when I ask for a yes rather than an OK, she replies that I know that OK means yes. So then I tell her that when I answer with OK she knows that it means yes.  She then answers that it did not sound like a yes it sounded like a “not so much”.   This conversation has no end.   The simple “OK” has two different meanings in our household depending on who is saying it.  OK?

 I continue to be irritated with people, usually women, who drive into the bank drive through window or lane who have not yet started the paper work for their transaction.  Two weeks ago I went to the bank where there 4 drive through lanes.  Every lane except one had 2 to 4 cars ahead of me.  I went to the lane with one car, with a woman at the wheel.  I figured great, I will get through in no time.  I waited for 15 minutes.  I realized at the 10 minute mark that she was just then putting her paper work in the pneumatic tube.  Silly me, I thought she was just waiting for the teller in the bank to finish with her deposit, but no, she had not even sent her papers into the bank.  The cars in every other lane finished and left and new cars took their place and these new cars went through the line.  Not me and the lovely lady ahead of me, we waited and waited and waited until she was finished with her paper work.  This is one of those things in life that completely drive me crazy.

My mother, who I dearly love, also drives me crazy. If I call her after a week of no calls she asks “Why didn’t I call her during the week?”  If I call her Tuesday and then call her Thursday, she asks, “Why didn’t I call her Wednesday?”  I am pretty certain that if I called her at 10:00 a.m. and at 5:00 p.m. on the same day, she would ask me why I did not call her at lunch.

The other day, Presidential candidate Michelle Bachman was badly beaten in the Iowa caucuses.  The next day, she was indicating that she was pulling out of the presidential race.  So here she is at the microphone before the world press making a statement that would be replayed for days throughout the world and what does she include in her remarks?  She mentioned that on caucus day, when she was campaigning; her husband was buying sunglasses for their dogs.  Gee, does she really think this is the kind of a thing that a man would want disclosed to the world press? “While I was working, my husband was buying doggy sunglasses.”

Women drive me crazy.  I try to understand them but it is impossible.  You know Stephen Hawking right? He is a scientist, a man who knows more about the universe and how it functions than most of the world’s population.  He is brilliant.  He has written books, articles and gives lectures despite the fact that he has had a motor neuron disease since he was a young man. He is confined to a wheel chair and talks through a computer simulated voice.  He is almost 70 years old.  He has learned to communicate to the world, write books, give lectures and talk by twitching his cheek. His book a "Brief History of Time" explained such concepts such as cosmology, the Big Bang, black holes and light cones in a manner that the average person could understand.  He seems to know everything about the universe and how it all works.  When asked what he thought about women, he responded, "Women. They are a complete mystery."

Don’t worry about it Stephen, despite your brilliance and your perseverance, you are in the same boat with the rest of us.  Women, rule the planet, men just think they do and it is very difficult to understand our beloved women.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Happy New Year

Can you believe it?  Its 2012.  It almost sounds like a year in a futuristic science fiction book rather than the year I am currently living in.  I will turn 60 years old in ten months’ time.   As I look back, there are particular years that for some reason or another, stand out for me. 


1960.  My little sister Tanya was born on January 7th.  I remember the day my parents brought here home from the hospital and laid here on their bed.  I was captivated by her and 52 years later I still am.

1961.  I was in second grade in 1960-1961.  The thing that struck about 1961 was that when you turned 1961 upside down it still read 1961.  Pretty cool huh?   Fifty years later I still think it is cool.  The other thing that comes to mind about 1961 was Alan Shepard becoming the first American to go into space.  I can still remember that and I still remember a photo of the original seven Mercury Astronauts.  Second grade was when I started to love books and reading.

1963. I saw Stan Musial’s play in Dodger Stadium.  I don’t remember what month this was but It was Stan Musial’s last game in Dodger Stadium (not his last game which was on September 29, 1963 in St. Louis.  The assassination of President Kennedy on November 22, 1963, is a date one can never forget. I remember.  I had turned 11 years old 30 days before that fateful day. 
1964.  I remember Barry Goldwater’s nomination, as the Republican nominee for president.  As a 12 year old I was a big fan of Mr. Goldwater.  I gave my mother a Barry Goldwater biography for her birthday.

1966.  My 16 year sister Sheila died of cancer in March 1966.
1968.  I graduated from junior high school and entered high school.

1971.  I graduated from Granite High School.  August 5, 1971 was the draft lottery for males born in 1952.  I was pleased to get lottery number 263.

1973.  First Marriage August 20th.
1974.  Graduated from University of Utah.

1976.  Finished Law School at the University of Utah in December 1976.
1977.  Took the February Bar Exam and was sworn in as an attorney in April.

1983.  Son Alex was born.
2001. Assault on the Twin Towers.

2004.  Married the Lovely Sharon.
Although every year has memorable events those are the years that stand out for me.   I have always been a person who had goals and dreams.  I have always been a person who gets excited about things.  I get excited over seeing a bird, or a deer or a mountain stream.  I have always been a person who looked forward to self-improvement and new adventures. 


 I look forward to 2012. I have hopes for 2012.  I hope the economy is better for all of us.  I hope my family’s health is good.  I hope we don’t get into another meaningless war.  I hope our politicians try to do what is right for America rather than just attack and belittle each other.  I hope that the feeling of depression that so many of our country men have will dissipate. I hope I can be a better person.  I hope I can be less judgmental and more helpful to all persons.  I hope I continue to love to learn. I hope I will be a better husband.
Happy New Year to all.