02 May, 2018
Dad had been in decline for years due to Parkinson's disease. I don't think it affected his personality any but it hit him physically and with hallucinations. He was frustrated as a person who had always been very active and busy; to see things that he knew (or was told) couldn't be there; to be unable to move or even read the way he wanted. That is a hard way to fight the last years of your life. I suspect there is more I could have done to help him, I think I let him down in that battle.
There are a lot stories to tell, things he did, places he visited and worked. There are a lot of things I don’t know. That is a hard part about losing someone, you think of things you didn’t know and now can’t ask. It is probably always that way unless you are a real tight family where there are few secrets with an open and honest relationship. We weren't that in some ways. Dad worked hard for us, he was out in the field a lot doing work he seemed to love. I don't fault him for it, it was what was expected of his gender and generation but I grew used to some distance from him. It also didn't help that I didn't share his love for hunting and fishing, I tried but wasn't into it. The same for sports, Dad played baseball, football and basketball in high school and college. We went to games and watched on TV but for me it wasn't all that interesting. Peter did a lot better in those departments although I think I ended up being a better shot.
Were we did click was military history. He studied it like nobody else I know and because it was interesting to me, I picked up a lot of it. I could never study it like he would, reading all 15 volumes of Morison's History of United States Naval Operations in World War II, more than once for example. He could answer any question I had about WW-I or WW-II or of many other conflicts in history. He and I were never in the military but we had a sense for how conflict starts, how wars progress, mistakes that end up killing innocents, and the evil of those trying to remain in power. I think he studied military conflict to understand who we are as people, not to be impressed by things being blown up. He studied the planning, the execution, the consequences of action, and the leaders who were successful in honorable ways and and then showing them to me as examples. I learned a lot from him, he definitely had an impact on who I, Peter, and Louise became.
His work was pulling out of rocks and mountains the secrets they had about water and where it would go and do. From ranches in Lassen County to flooded Bengali plains to African deserts to a Caribbean island to Middle East deserts to Peruvian mountains to the US Rockies, he found his working knowledge of water and rocks to be a fulfilling and worthwhile career. I think, I never asked that question, but I am pretty sure it was for him. I learned what it was to be an engineer by watching him work and on occasion going out to the fields with him. He showed me responsibility, I could see his work led to important, expensive decisions that would be made from his data and conclusions. I could see being precise and concise was important in communicating his results. And I could see, which is true in engineering, that many things don't have to be precise, that some things are not significant, they can be rounded off. Not sweating the insignificant details is part of my engineering career. Not always a good thing in personal relationships I eventually learned.
And then there was the fishing. Everywhere, how was the fishing? From the smallest creeks of Lassen County, to the Sacramento River, to any river running to the sea in Northern California, to Alaskan rivers, to Russian rivers on the Kamchatka peninsula, to rivers everywhere in the US Rockies, to probably every fishable river in New Zealand.
So many stories with Dad.
Fishing around Snag Lake.
Fishing at Bear Lake.
The cabin on Clear Lake.
Hunting Chukar at Pete's Valley.
Showing me fossil sea shells in a mountain range.
Forgetting the trigger lock key for my shotgun, having him look at me, roll his eyes and leave me at the truck to figure it out. (I used the hacksaw blade on his pocket knife to cut the lock casing and then joined him on the goose hunt.)
Telling me not to shoot yet, I shoot anyway, the goose shakes it off and takes off again.
Snorkeling in the Caribbean looking for lobster and coming eye to eye with barracuda in the murky water.
Logging data from a water well test in the middle of a sugar field.
Listening to him tell ranchers that water witches are hooey.
Listening to him tell uncles Ray and Leo where to try to find water on their land and what was happening to the water table in the Susan River valley.
His smoking cigars and drinking scotch with grandpa Evan.
Talking to grandpa Bill about rocks and fishing.
Trying to teach me poker and cribbage.
My taking the head off the Ford Falcon engine and putting it back on, his amazement it ran again.
His telling me to turn that crap down when he caught me playing Black Sabbath too loud. (I thought the speakers were off, I had headphones on.) Dad was a classical guy.
Taking him for an airplane ride for the first time in the Bonanza and the door popping open half way through the flight. The one door was right next to him. Not a problem.
Snake charmers in our yard in Dacca.
He and I searching for the guys who tried to kidnap me in Dacca.
Taking me to the hospital after Peter ran me over with his bicycle. "Hey Dad, I think I did something to my elbow."
Regrets for not flying to Fort Collins to attend his retirement party.
Going to the top of the Leaning Tower of Pisa.
All of us flying to Tokyo in 1966 on a Pan Am 707.
All of us climbing around the Acropolis in Athens.
The Imperial War Museum in London.
Riding a train up into the Bengali tea plantations.
Golfing around a Hindu temple.
Hanging around the pool at the club.
Watching a movie on 16mm film at the Embassy.
Watching a very unexpectedly raunchy cowboy movie.
Watching John Wayne movies. He loved John Wayne.
Watching the original Star Trek original broadcasts.
Only getting to see so many cartoons Saturday morning until the basketball or football started.
Going to a Giants game with Willie Mays.
Having Raiders season tickets.
Watching Peter play football.
Vegetable gardening with the mali in Dacca.
Vegetable gardening in San Jose.
Vegetable gardening in Fort Collins.
The story of catching a goose by its leg.
The story of him shooting grandpa Bill in the foot.
Showing me how to clean fish.
Sliding off the road in uncle Glenn's station wagon one icy snowy night out of Susanville.
Throwing up on the road between Chico and Susanville.
Helping Jill birth her puppies.
Telling me I had to take my "tree house" out of the almond tree, which was probably crazy dangerous.
Showing me how to write the number four properly, as an engineer.
Letting me do what I wanted in college, as long as I was an engineer.
Backpacking in the Sierra Nevada.
Backpacking in the Cascades and he has a heart attack, we found out when we got back after three days.
Backpacking in the Rockies and denying we made those nice pine bough beds the nice ranger people found behind us.
I'm glad Dad is no longer suffering, I hope he was ready. He lives on in my memories. I am sure in many others.
20 April, 2018
21 July, 2017
30 January, 2017
Fought with conservatives about Trump’s Holocaust Remembrance Day immigration ban. Why is it that conservatives don’t get that ethnic, religious, sexual discrimination is unconstitutional? What is so incomprehensible about it?
How is it a good idea to ban immigration from these countries at all anyway? What threat does refugees from here pose? No terrorist attack in this country has been committed by a refugee from these countries. Instead our troops are at higher risk because we are reneging on hope and promises for those in the region that they can escape in return for the help they gave us. People are getting screwed, it could be people die. So the question is, how many more terrorists did Trump create with this ban? Nothing new here. Our name is further trashed internationally. Russia laughs at us. Who knows what China is thinking?
What a fuck up Trump is.
One web site I read thinks this is all testing of the waters for a coup d'état in US government, where would resistance come from, give an idea who would support such a thing. I think that’s farfetched but the testing goes on. Is the administration going to back down in the face of court orders? Trump fucking better. What is disturbing is that the Department of Homeland Security seems to be following unconstitutional orders without question.
26 January, 2017
Fascism doesn't play by the rules. It subverts them to gain power and then eliminates them completely. There's no freedom of speech under fascism, there's no democratic process, no freedom of press, no politely disagreeing about political views...
Fascism abuses our cherished and most fundamental values and turns them into fatal flaws. If you play by the rules against fascism, you die by the rules.
Fascism is also inherently violent.
Join (Organization who will go to court or help elect who you want.)
- Planned Parenthood - https://www.plannedparenthood.org/
- American Civil Liberties Union https://www.aclu.org/
- Union of Concerned Scientists http://www.ucsusa.org/
- Southern Poverty Law Center (good civil rights org but they pissed me off)
- Emily’s List http://www.emilyslist.org/
- Freedom From Religion Foundation https://ffrf.org/
Subscribe (A free press supported by readers is needed to keep tabs on Trump.)
- Washington Post - https://www.washingtonpost.com/
- The Guardian - https://www.theguardian.com/us-news
- Slate - http://www.slate.com/
Call (Tell your congress person what you think, what you want.)
- Senator Feinstein and Harris - https://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm?State=CA
- House Representative - http://www.house.gov/representatives/#state_ca
- (Calling is easy… State one sentence of what you want, they’ll ask you your zip code and maybe name.)
- (“Hi, I’d like to register my opposition to Senator Sessions being confirmed as Attorney General.” They ask your name and zip. Done)
Follow activists on Twitter and Facebook
Comment on Facebook and Twitter, don’t be silent.
Comment on news articles. You’ll get criticized and called names but f—k them.
March. Trumpie didn’t like the bigger crowd after his big day.
There is a March for Science coming up soon.
There will be immigration marches.
25 January, 2017
President Tr…. erp… gulp… <gag> … Tru… <cough> <gag> <cough>
I can’t say it. The baby handed manbaby took the oath of office last Friday and the real horror show has begun. EPA scientists silenced. A wall has been ordered. Extreme vetting discussed. Funding for any organization that is connected or mentions abortion is banned. The killing of women has begun. The martial speech was horrifying. Somehow crime will now end. ISIS will now somehow be destroyed.
And all the news about Putin’s influence has disappeared for the moment. The DNC has no leadership.
The fascism of this administration is hardly hidden anymore.
The whining about how bigly his inauguration crowd was compared to 2009 Obama’s. The man is a child. The lying continues, the sheep are lapping it up.
The Supreme Court pick is coming out next week. I can’t imagine what this horror is going to bring. It may be good that I watch zombie shows and movies, I’m somewhat prepared for dystopia.
The day after the inauguration Liz and I marched with 30,000 other people in San Jose. A couple of million around the world. That was good. The things to do in response to this cluster fuck are: Join ACLU, UCS, Planned Parenthood, Emily’s List. Subscribe to good journalism because we need that more than ever now; Slate, NYTimes, Washington Post, The Guardian, NPR.
The rage at this isn’t going away. Rage at the DNC and Debbie Wasserman-Shultz, Sanders supporters, Sanders, Clintons, Lynch, Comey, Assuange/Putin/Wikileaks. All still there. I can’t believe this happened.