Fashion Guru to NYC Police; Great Comet and inane orders

I spent most of the (rainy) week in New York City. And, while we’ve had an abnormally high amount of rain here in Santa Barbara, the rain in NYC was ..

cold, Nazy!” I explained. “And the wind whips around the buildings.”

“Did you get an umbrella?”

“Too much wind,” I replied, thinking about the vast number of defunct and damaged umbrellas I’d spotted in nooks and crannies or, more simply, disposed of on the pavement.

“Aren’t you getting soaked?” Nazy asked.

“Nazy, my dear, you may recall that I came prepared…”

“… because I made you take your raincoat.”
Dan and drizabone Jan 2017

I was wearing my Australian Driza-Bone, traditional oil skin riding coat and my crushable, water resistant cowboy hat (with the Sante Fe hat band).

“Dan,” Nazy asked. “What is the difference between water-resistant and water-proof?”

“I’m not sure,” I replied. “
About six liters,” I thought.

Later, wearing the raincoat, hat and a colorful
shirt, I was walking downtown by the Freedom Tower. A large policeman tapped my shoulder. I turned around and..

“I want
you to be my fashion guru!” He enthused.

“Ah..” I replied.

“Where did you find that outfit?” The constable persisted.

“Do you know where I can park my horse?” I asked.

“That’s a great hat. And the boots..”

“You’ve got boots, too.” I replied. “
And a gun,” I thought.

“Have a great day!”
Although I was in New York for business meetings, I
had time, eh, I made time to see a Broadway show. After a perfunctory check on the availability of ticket$$ to Hamilton, I surveyed the scene.
The great comet

“Surveyed the scene?” Nazy asked. “What does that mean?”

“I looked out the window of my hotel room and I saw a marque. I took the elevator to 8th Avenue, walked around the block to 45th Street and bought a ticket at the box office.”

“A ticket for what?”

“A ticket for:
Natascha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812.”

It was a unique show. I had a great orchestra seat, but there were other seats on the stage - which was almost theater in the round. The (complicated) plot was based on a portion of Tolstoy’s War and Peace and the opening number explained little:

And this is all in your program
You are at the opera.
Gonna have to study up a little bit
If you wanna keep with the plot!
Cuz it’s a complicated Russian novel
Everyone’s got nine different names.
So look it up in your program!
We’d appreciate it, thanks a lot

I really enjoyed the show which features audience interaction, characters performing in the aisles and Josh Groban as Pierre. The opening song also provides an rundown on the characters: Balaga is fun; Bolkonsky is crazy; Mary is plain; Dolokhov is fierce; Hélène is a slut; Anatole is hot; Marya is old-school; Sonya is good; Natasha is young — And Andrey isn’t here!

My flight home went via Las Vegas and LAX. Late at night, I caught the Santa Barbara airbus. The trip was uneventful until a lady in the seat behind me asked..

Las vegas from the air

“Do you know Santa Barbara?”

“I live there,” I replied.

“I’m going to a new job. I have five jobs in Santa Barbara. I’m a nurse. I’ve been a nurse for 21 years. Do you know where the Motel 6 is located? I’m staying there one night to get oriented before I start my job tomorrow. Should I get off in Santa Barbara or Goleta? Where is the Motel 6?”

“I don’t..”

“I own a bed and breakfast,
two bed and breakfasts in Illinois. It pays for colleges.”


“And, I own a race car engine company outside of Chicago. We sell O’Hare all the baggage hauling tractors..”


“Do you know where the Motel 6 is? I’m just staying there for the night. Where did you fly from?”

“New York.”

“I have a fragrance company in New York. Since you don’t know where the Motel 6 is, do you have a spare room that I could use for the night?”

“No!” I replied forcefully.

“How are you getting home?”

“My wife is picking me up,” I said, closing the conversation.

(And, on fashion, the policeman also complemented my shirt.)
dan and rg shirt jan 2017

And, finally, a reflection on about the country: One of America’s historical strengths has been the assimilation of new comers. Immigrants come to America and they become American. We don’t have generations of unassimilated guest workers.

But now,
his orangeness has decided to destroy one of the things that Makes America Great (Already). The ban on entry from seven countries will have no impact on terrorist activity in the USA. The (hypocritical) “executive order-hating Republicans” typically respond to any gun-control proposal with something along the lines of: “The proposed change wouldn’t have stopped anything.” What exactly would this moronic ban have stopped? But, on a more personal note:

If it was enacted in the Johnson Administration, it would have prevented my wife from coming to the USA. If was enacted in the Nixon administration, it may have prevented me from returning to the USA after meeting my wife’s family. If it had occurred in the Reagan administration, it would have prevented Nazy’s parents from getting asylum. Had it taken place in the G.W. Bush administration it would have kept Nazy’s mother (who was in her 90’s) out of the country after she visited family. And now, my son is flying to Washington State for a talk at a university. He has visited Iran with a faculty tour group. I’m concerned that this idiotic ‘
presidential’ action may impact Darius. This brainless and pointless order is now personal. And dangerous.

I’ve just finished reading the biography of John Quincy Adams. I take some solace in the fact that Andrew Jackson (and, to a lesser extent, Martin Van Buren, John Tyler, James Polk) had similar propensities to derail the fundamentals of liberty that (historically) made America great. On the other hand, none of them created a
department of propaganda - which is an accurate name for the Press Secretary’s office. If you want to see what Donald of Orange is doing, simply look at the accusations he flings toward his (many) enemies. For example:

“Mainstream Media is lying,” says the administration which is creating ‘alternative facts’ (i.e. lies) about (among other things) the crowd size.

“There was voter fraud,” says the administration. There was! But it wasn’t 3,000,000 illegal anti-Trump voters, it was voter suppression activities that target people likely to vote against the
orange candidate.

The administration appears to believe that the rest of the world will not react to their unilateral actions. They think that a tax on imports from Mexico will be paid by Mexicans. Although their impact on the country will be overwhelmingly negative, they are already creating an alternative source of ‘news’ to disguise that result.

I can only hope that there are a few Republicans with both principles and backbones who will work to control the hatred, fear, insecurity, inanity and idiocy flowing from this fearful, hubristic, hedonistic little

On a much happier note, young Arrow continues to grow and develop. His personality is bubbling through. Tiger, meanwhile, is learning to use the keyboard on my MacBook — in addition to the numbers and letters (he types the Alphabet in order), he really likes the star (*), the ampersand (&) and the ‘tick tack’ (#).

And, finally, the lads. The first photo is Tiger (at six months), the second Arrow (at 5 months).

For last week's letter, click here

Tiger, six months old

Tiger at five months

Arrow: 5 months old

Arrow bouncing Jan 2017

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