Friday, April 18, 2008

Still Around

Just in case regular readers--both of you--were wondering about the lack of posts, I've been on the road this week, back to Phoenix and packing the second (and I hope final) load of household goods to go to Olympia. All I can say is that moving sucks, even when you're going someplace you want to go. Not to mention what to do with the stuff that I don't really want to take, can't sell or give away and am reluctant just to toss out.

The longer I'm in Olympia, the less attractive Phoenix becomes. I don't regret my years in Phoenix, they were very, very good to me. It's just that I've moved on metaphysically and am in the process of completing the physical journey.

This blog will probably be pretty quiet for the next week or so. I mean, what's to blog about? Certainly not the presidential election. That's been pretty irrelevant to any meaningful change since...well, probably since it began. The wars in Afghanistan and Iraq? Not much new to say there. The American people have largely forgotten the terror our forces are inflicting on those nations since we "won" the surge, at least till the past couple of weeks when it looks like that victory is more ethereal than real.

So I'm into major moving and packing mode. I guess I could discourse on packing materials (bicycle boxes from the local bike store are great for large art) or triaging stuff (do I really need three tents?). Maybe that would distinguish this blog in ways that my oh-so-erudite commentary on affairs has not. Maybe I'll just pack and get the hell out of here.

Olympia had its first genuine Spring days just before I departed--sunny skies and warm temperatures. The weather brought everyone out in shorts and tee shirts, the sky was clear with a great view of Mt. Ranier from the west side heights. I rode my bike out to The Evergreen State College last Friday, the warmest day, mainly looking for the photography lab that's open to the community but what I found was a college campus on a sunny Friday afternoon. It all looked so idyllic and peaceful, almost making me wish I was that young again. Then I remembered that my college Fridays also came, like this one, with a war. Except for the lack of a draft, these students probably face all the uncertainty (maybe more; global warming wasn't a big deal 40 years ago and America was still considered the world's richest, most prosperous nation)that I faced back then.

Still, it was a wonderful Spring day and I was exploring a beautiful area on my bicycle. Hard to argue with that.

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Sunday, April 13, 2008

This is Grimly Familiar

The WP reports today on a new generation experiencing inflation for the first time in their lives and notes that Americans have been spared the experience for a couple of decades.
The last time prices rose markedly was in the 1970s and early 1980s, when double-digit inflation led to wrenching economic recessions. In 1980, inflation reached almost 14 percent, but it has been lower than 3.5 percent for a decade.

That inflation followed almost a decade of war and deficit spending as two presidents tried to mask the real cost of Vietnam. It all caught up with us in the 70's and early 80's.

CheneyBush will leave Americans with lasting memories and some very unpleasant realities.