Some naive thoughts on Brexit

Deerfield / IL / Etats-Unis - 6/23/16

I do not claim to be truly politically aware. I really want to be and yet, for some reason, I cannot focus my energies to the extent of doing it properly. I was able to at one time, but I think that time and my seeing the constant corruption and continued inability of people to do the right thing, has caused me to mentally opt out. It is not a good thing, but I leave it to people who have the vocation.

I never thought that the UK ever gave the European Union a chance, not even adopting the Euro as their currency. My real thought is that they cannot get beyond the reality of the English Channel and the truth that they are physically separated from the rest of Europe. That simple, physical fact never really allowed them to let go and let it all happen, to fully give in and really give it a chance. In the long run, I believe that secession from the EU will create a slow downslide.

Some really intelligent people say that it is a good thing. They say that other countries in the EU should do the same and pull out. I guess that my thoughts on that are that rejecting the common good is the selfish way. We are no longer living in a world where isolationism is a possibility. Travel is way to easy and accomplished way too quickly. We all have to make an effort to be more accepting of others and to think globally and realize that, in the long run, that more will benefit from our efforts to pull together and that individual nations will inevitably do better as well.

It makes me think of the United States as a sort of European Union and how we, like the Brits, cannot see the forest for the trees. We think in a less than selfless way and think that things like education, complete freedom for all, healthcare for all, and lack of being judgmental, are not the way to go. I am convinced, and I am no expert, that if we all put our minds to it for the common good, made more sacrifices, and made sure that all of our citizens had the same opportunities and even help to attain a better life, that we all would be better off. I accept my naïveté.

It is time for the entire world to stop thinking selfishly, and to realize that by not doing so, we will all be better off in the long run. I only wish the Brits could reconsider.

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Posted in European Union, Good citizenship, Life in general, Loss, People and their characteristics, Thoughts and philosophy, United Kingdom | Leave a comment

A walk in the fog preceding Brexit

Deerfield / IL / Etats-Unis - 6/23/16

Walking Stewie was a walk through the clouds, literally, as we traipsed through the light fog that was covering the area in the aftermath of major rain. The terrible weather had caused an over two-hour delay in the soccer game of Copa America between Chile and Colombia, which poor Colombia ended up losing.

The Northern suburbs had looked as if they would be unaffected and when we departed our dinner in the suburb of Evanston, we thought maybe it would rain a little. The downpour was sizable and very scary, to the point that I almost pulled over. I hate pulling over, when on the highway, because I feel that it is almost more dangerous than slowly plowing through the snow or rain. The torrents of water came down with such speed that the Deerfield streets could barely handle it as we neared home and we had to slow down a great deal and drive very cautiously as we approached our aboad.

The dirt I had put into my part of the MZ (middle zone) between my driveway and the neighbor’s had been pretty much washed out, with little evidence of it in more than one spot. It was clear that the zone was used as a major waterway as the water attempted to leave our yards and escape. My neighbor’s placing of grasses in pots surrounded by his decorative stones worked out well. The rains came before I was able to get roots down in the soil to combat the erosion.

Thursday, Samantha and I evened out the soil and planted morsels of sedum taken from sedum growth in our yard. We completed that with rain barrel water.

Weather is in the low seventies and was in the high sixties when I took Stewie on his walk. It remains to be seen how this weather will play out today.

The evening, before bed, I learned of the reality of Brexit, oh my!

Posted in European Union, Life in general, People and their characteristics, Stupidity, Thoughts and philosophy, Voting | Leave a comment

Oaktoning!

Deerfield / IL / Etats-Unis - 6/22/16

Oakton is at the center of my Wednesday universe and I got here before 9:00 AM in to start my first of three office hours and to do the ESL Conversation Hour.

We had a good time in conversation, with Iraq, Japan, and Mongolia represented and had a quick after class visit (all of us) with Colombia. Our au pair from Colombia stopped by after her Speech class to say hello and it was delightful for all of us.

I looked outside with wonder as the weather goes from ugly to uglier and I hope that it holds out long enough for me to get to my car this afternoon. The prospects do not look good so we shall see how this all pans out.

I finished the conversation group and then did office hours until 1:00 PM when I met with my department chairman to go over my classes’ online websites. That went without a hitch and then I came home 2:30 ish.

The weather continued to be threatening and I wondered where it was going to go. We decided we were both exhausted and would use our Christmas Gift Certificate and go to Oceanique.

All in a days’ work!

Posted in Academics, Life in general, Oakton Community College, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment

Crazy in Deerfield

The lavender in the front flower bed lends so much wonderful fragrance and begs to be touched for its oils.

The lavender in the front flower bed lends so much wonderful fragrance and begs to be touched for its oils.

Love these daylilies I have growing in the front flower bed.

Love these daylilies I have growing in the front flower bed.

The first poppy bloomed yesterday, and this, not the strongest one I have ever seen, bloomed on Wednesday.

The first poppy bloomed yesterday, and this, not the strongest one I have ever seen, bloomed on Wednesday.

I am not sure why, but my Tuesday night, Wednesday morning sleeping hours were short. I woke up at 5:30 AM on Wednesday after a somewhat fitful night. I am guessing that a crazy day with the grandgirls was partially to blame, also, perhaps, the craziness of the house buying ventures of the Glencoe Koerners. They had what I would call a real estate verbal agreement to buy a home and then were told that other bids had come in so they were welcome to a bidding war. That set into play major stress on a day when the Glencoes were celebrating their thirteenth anniversary and went out to dinner while we fed the kids.

There is always something. You cannot take anything for granted.

So, 5:30 AM it was and I fed the dog, did my blogwork, and took Stewie for a walk, disregarding the ‘iffyness’ of the weather. Weather tells us that we are due for some magnificent storms and that remains to be seen, although the weather was not looking nice and it had cooled off.

I came home and pulled out the bags of topsoil I had bought the other day to fill in my portion of the MZ, otherwise known as the Middle Zone between our driveway and the neighbor’s, that portion of which is not bisected by a fence. Essentially it goes from the front of the house to the apron of the driveway. I ripped open the bags, crumbled the compacted topsoil, and filled in my half, leaving a square paver at the end to stave off runoff in case of the monsoon rains they predict. My pretty black topsoil is next to the boulder and tall grasses planted by the neighbor. I intend to plant sedum.

At 7:20 or so, I came in the house and made a batch of muffins to take to Oakton for our lunchtime ‘potluck’ of things to share. As it turns out, they had canceled it, but no problem, someone made food last week, so this time it is on me.

At 8:05 we had breakfast after I had showered and by 8:20 I was out the door with my briefcase and muffins. I have three office hours, one hour of ESL Conversation, and then I have to meet with my department chairman to go over my ‘observation’ of what I do online. I plan to go home after that and crash! I am hoping to keep to no work. Let’s see if I can manage to keep to my plan.

Posted in Horticulture, Household and yard tasks, Life in general, Neighbors, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment

Hail, flash flood warnings, impossible light bulbs, and more

Not even four inches tall, this annual poppy from my mom, a dwarf, sickly aberration, looks pretty nice.

Not even four inches tall, this annual poppy from my mom, a dwarf, sickly aberration, looks pretty nice.

Is it me or are light bulbs way harder to change than ever before? Our powder room downstairs had some halogen lights that worked well, even lasted a long time. A few weeks ago, one burned out. I pulled out the trusty suction cup that came with the bulbs for removal and it wouldn’t budge the bulb, which had prongs. In the end, the bulb broke and that necessitated my changing out the actual fixture since it was one of those track lighting deals where you could relatively easily remove the arm with the light on the end. I was a bit surprised, but even the electrician agreed that that was the way to go. However, I ended up having to change them both out so they would match.

I have noticed, of late, that the bulbs, in general, and I am speaking about those that screw in, are impossible. They are both hard to get in and to get out.

I stupidly ordered the BR-20 LED bulbs for my new track fixtures, not being happy with the amount of light the other bulbs were providing, in comparison to what we had. I put the first one in, no problem. The second one gave me a good ten minutes of playing before success. What is this all about? I am trying to be an energy saver and I get burned with the fact that the screw in is next to impossible.

My lighting moment came at the end of putting together all of my exams in single documents because I just found out that my second ‘observation’ as professor within a year, due to our having changed the number of chapters we are doing, necessitated not only having provided all of the pertinent new information, but also copies of all of my tests, quizzes, and the like. Between two classes, I have fifty pages I will have to print out, which is why I put them into single documents so that I can easily print when I am at Oakton tomorrow. You would think I am earning a princely salary.

Meanwhile, flashflood watches and hail warnings for this week. Are we going to Hell in a handbasket?

Posted in Academics, Energy Consumption, Gardening, Lack of respect for Teaching in America, Life in general, Thoughts and philosophy | Leave a comment