Wandering with my eyes and heart open, searching for pieces to add to my own personal big picture.

Tag: war

Prices And War: A Podcast Roundup

Sorry, my dear reader, but this is going to start out as a bit of a downer of a podcast roundup, but I have to be honest about what I’m exploring. Life is not all happy joy and flowers and entertaining novels.

Yesterday’s trip into the city was sprinkled with reminders that things are not right in the world. The first of which is that I’ve tried for three days in a row to get my hair cut in town and have run into “supply chain” and “lack of staff” issues.

prices and war
Minor, I know, but really Target?
A hard to remove sticker right in the middle of the title?

I filled up my truck with gas and paid a dollar more than I did last week, and last week’s prices were already higher than I have ever paid for gas in my life. You would think people would be slowing down and conserving gas on the highway, but no. Impatience and frustration was up. Once again, a woman passed me and another truck going uphill toward a blind crest, while crossing the double yellow line. Life apparently don’t mean much.

Some of it I understand. With gas this high, those (most of us) that commute to another town for work are finding it almost a waste of time to keep working, another reason for the “lack of staff” in certain places. We’re becoming more frightened for our future than we already have been.

I was able to eat lunch out with a friend INSIDE my favorite restaurant, so that’s a positive. But the prices were higher, understandably, and the menu was slightly limited. Not terrible but a sign none the less.

I noticed the local hospital billboard on the highway has lost its medical masked character. And Target and Kohl’s had no signs about having to be masked at all. I can’t help but feel like covid is being downplayed and set aside a bit, like maybe we’ll all forget what’s been going on and focus elsewhere. Hysteria and fear will just fade away. A cross between “Nothing to see here. Move along.” And “We have always been at war with Eurasia.”

I went into the city to see about getting some new sheets and a blanket for my guest room. My son is coming with his new girlfriend, and I want the room to look a little spruced up, even though I haven’t been able to paint it yet. Have I mentioned that paint now costs twice what it used to ten years ago and is going up still? I found a blanket on clearance for $35 (last one and it was $120…really?). And some sheets for $50. I remember paying $40 for REALLY nice, higher end sheets twenty years ago. That’s another story.

I am hyperaware of my ability to consider purchasing things I may need in the next few years before the prices go higher. I know we are lucky to work from home, so the price of gas is only having an effect on my leisure activities…for now.

There’s stress here, and I knowing I don’t have it nearly as badly as others doesn’t help. I have lived in earthquake country all my life, and I know the ground is always slowing shifting. Small earthquakes are said to keep the equilibrium, but right now…I don’t know. I feel like there’s pressure building up to a larger quake, and that scares me because what comes after isn’t predictable.

Do you hear the Lion King music?

That all being said, I do have a bright side to my thoughts. Life has always been unpredictable. Wars always rage on all over the planet. Sickness and death come to all of us. Things get complicated and then easy again.

The end of the world is not coming. The story keeps being told.

Podcast roundup! Remember? Here they are!

Ron Paul Liberty Report: Biden Bans Russian Oil. Are We Committing Economic Suicide Over Ukraine?

Things I didn’t even consider.

Quillette Podcast: Jacob Mchangama on His New Book, “Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media”

This, once again, made me add a book to my TBR list. Did he just compare Luther to Rogan? Yes, he did.

Book: “Free Speech: A History from Socrates to Social Media” by Jacob Mchangama

The Intelligence from The Economist: War Stories: The View from Russia

A point of view we all need to remember. There are more than two sides. Two governments in conflict. The rest of the world’s nations and their governments vying for position. And then there is us, the people affected by such bullshit.

Conversations With Coleman: Covid: The Conversation We’ve Been Waiting For with Dr. Zubin Damania

Always an interesting take with Coleman. I love this podcast. The conversation can be maddening slow at times, but it always gets somewhere I never thought it would go. Dr. Zubin Damania is one of those rare people that can completely disagree with you but still make you feel like he understands your point of view and wants to come to some kind of working agreement for all of us. I highly recommend his website and YouTube channel, linked to his name above.

Me going for a walk in the wind!

I’m still reading Apocalypse Never by Michael Shellenberger and loving it. I think it will be added to my list of books I would make everyone read in my own universe. It’s uplifting and positive environmental discussion. Not, “Everything is fine, life as usual,” but “Hey things are looking up and here’s why and how we might do better!”

Thanks for reading even on one of my downer days!

Two New Books

I started two new books this week. The first one, “Democracy for Realists,” was recommended by Mark Manson on New Years Eve. It’s fascinating, but a long and more difficult read for me. I can only stay focused on it for about an hour before my brain starts to get tired!

I’ve had the same idea, that elections really don’t mean anything, for a long time but couldn’t really defend it. This book is giving me some great insight to my intuition. I’ve run across a few things I don’t agree with though. Government, federal and state, has gotten into the habit of micro-managing the people and the people have learned to depend on it instead of taking care of themselves and their own families privately.  The election process we have resembles a professional sport now, with one team against another and no principles to speak of. This book gets into why that is.

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Because I can only read this book for about an hour before my brain gets buzzy, and I my goal this year is to read for an average of three hours per day, I picked up another book to read at the same time. It’s called “Snow Falling on Cedars” by David Guterson.

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I found it at the thrift store for a dollar a few months ago and was intriqued by the cover. Yep, that’s how I find books sometimes, especially if they are a dollar. If I don’t like it right away, I stop reading it and drop it back at the thrift store so they can sell it to someone else. I’m only out a dollar.

This book is turning out great! World War II, Japanese immigrants being sent to Manzanar. It’s historical fiction and one of my favorite eras. I’ve been to Manzanar with my family and read a few other books about what happened. One was called “Nisei Daughter” by Monica Sone. What I already know is blending into this story so well.

One thing I found so strange when I first started reading about the Japanese Internment was how quick we all were to “evacuate” these people. The more I read, the more I understand.

It wasn’t like we all just turned on them. We were already wary of them. Japanese culture is very different from Western culture. Many behaviors that the Japanese consider respectful and honorable, we see as rude and suspicious. It was difficult for Westerners to accept them into society and the many immigrants did not want to assimilate either. They wanted to live thier own way and be left alone. When Pearl Harbor was bombed, it was easy for us to villify the Japanese immigrants and our government was happy to comply with our wishes.

I’m really fascinated about cultural differences and how they affect people’s perception of others. Don’t think we have outgrown our wariness of strangers!

There was a lot more going on at the time, especially on the west coast of the United States. It’s a interesting topic. Since I’ve read a bit about it in the past, this story’s setting is very clear to me and a fictional account of a love triangle and forbidden relationships in the midst of World War II is icing on that cake.

I think it’ll take me awhile to read “Democracy for Realists.” It’s long and involved, but I’ll write more about it as I read. I’m already more than halfway done with “Snow Falling on Cedars.” It’s that engaging!

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