Jerusalema

From The New Yorker

The wind bloweth daily and nightly here in Paradise. It gusteth forcefully. Forsooth, I sickeneth of its howling.

While it is possible to walk from place to place out of doors, you do it only by tacking into the wind while continually adjusting the angle of your body. Sitting down anywhere is difficult, what with being pelted by sand particles, rubbing dust from one’s eyes, and being assaulted by tumbleweeds.

The temperatures would be nice enough to allow one to eat al fresco, but you do so only if you are amused by seeing half the food on your plate become airborne and sail over the backyard fence to the waiting maws of the neighbor’s dogs.

They Call the Wind Mariah, by Harve Presnell

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By Vi-An Nguyen

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Robin and I spent last weekend in Steamboat Springs, attending grandson Ethan’s graduation ceremonies from Colorado Mountain College. Our hero looked awfully adult in cap and gown, but in his face you could see more than a trace of the troublemaker in the picture at right.

The ceremony was more laid back than many others I’ve been to, and was all the more enjoyable for it. There were lots of hoots, hollers, and air horns being fired off as graduates were introduced, and when one of the speakers mentioned that in one outdoor class he had “frozen his a** off,” you got the sense that this wasn’t one of the more pretentious proceedings in academia.

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But graduate he did, and in a short while Ethan will be off for a summer in Boston with friend Sian before they relocate to Chapel Hill NC. He’s a good man and we wish him awfully well.

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While in Routt County, we had numerous opportunities to see both of those excellent predators, the bald eagle and the osprey. I have been a fan of ospreys since I was an eighth-grade student looking for a topic for an essay in biology class. I had meant to write about bald eagles, but in researching them came across references to these beautiful creatures. Until then I had not been aware of their existence.

On my very first Boundary Waters trip, with a young Kari and Sarah aboard, we had not traveled more than three hundred yards from the put-in point when an osprey swooped down and grabbed a large fish less than thirty feet in front of our canoe. Being a naturally superstitious man at the time, I immediately pronounced the bird’s appearance as a good omen for the voyage. It did turn out to be a very fine trip, whether the bird had anything to do with it or not.

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My political dilemma these days. The Republican leaders are not fit to govern us, and the Democrats cannot figure out how to do it. Sigghhhhhh. At moments like these, I turn to more astute observers … like Mr. Mencken, for example.

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Democracy is the theory that the common people know what they want, and deserve to get it good and hard.

H.L. Mencken

Here’s something to ponder. If President Obama had been willing to get his hands even slightly dirty and go to the mats for Merrick Garland’s nomination to the Supreme Court, we might not be in the ugly situation that we are in now. And he wouldn’t have Sen. McConnell’s footprints all over the back of his nice tuxedo.

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A Dick Guindon cartoon

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I must warn you that if you are in one of your best bad moods and would like to nurse it along for a while, don’t watch this video. It may totally ruin it for you. YouTube is full of video versions of people dancing to the song Jerusalema, which has become very popular worldwide. This is one of the more interesting. It is also hugely cute.

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