40 thoughts on “Our Daily Thread 2-12-18

  1. Good Morning. Today is rainy and dreary and suits my mood. It seems that if there was a negative thought yesterday, I had it.
    It’s a busy week ahead. I am showing property this morning, have to view a location at 1, to settle the plans for our Annual Awards Banquet, a conference call at 3 and a staff meeting at 4. Tomorrow will be the reverse with team meeting at 9, a class at 10:30, and showing property in the afternoon.

    I have been trying Blue Apron. They were running a special the end of January, so they ship me 3 meals that arrive on Thursday. I still have to cook it, but I don’t have to think about it and shop for it. So far my favorite has been the Pork and Korean Rice Cakes. (The rice cakes are more the consistency of dumplings).

    Of to plan my route and make sure I have access codes to all the properties we will see this morning.

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  2. The doves were on the roof of my garage, taken from my kitchen window. The “bird feeder tree” is a sycamore growing between our house and this garage.

    Several interesting bird/ mourning dove behaviors are seen in this photo. For instance, it always amuses me when a bird perches on a fallen branch as though it were a living branch, but I have seen it repeatedly. The dove on the left is showing the vigilant behavior all birds must have to survive in a bird-eat-bird world. Unlike smaller birds, doves will sit in the same location for minutes (even hours) at a time, but they have to check for safety regularly. As birds go, doves are rather slow to take off and plump–excellent eating if you can catch one. (This is a game bird; even people like to eat them–more than 20 million a year taken in America. Apparently, though, it takes several birds to make a single serving and most hunters kill them but do not eat them.) They nest in all 48 continental states and beyond.

    Mourning doves are said to probably mate for life, but they are generally a short-lived species, which leaves a lot of widowed birds around. (The oldest known bird was at least 30, but I see average lifespans as around two years.) It is said to be common to see them in threes, with a mated pair and an unmated bird trying to horn in. I’ve definitely seen that behavior, but I have no ideas whether this is such a grouping, a pair and one of their juveniles from last fall, or simply three birds that happen to be together.

    If you look up the breeding season for mourning doves, you will see that they nest nearly year round (I once saw a listing of 11 months, though I forget which one was not included)–in a temperate climate, which this is not. They can have nest after nest, two squabs in each, flimsy nests. In December I photographed a pair on our fence, clearly a mated pair, cozy together. But she was content to be cozy and cuddle a bit, and he wanted more. (Generally I can’t tell male and female mourning doves apart, but the male is slightly larger on average and he also has more iridescence on his neck. And generally the bird doing the wooing is the male, though a female will sometimes go to her mate to ask to be fed, in species that do courtship feeding; doves are one such species.) She was resting on the fence and he kept sidling closer, and eventually he’d be a little too close and she’d scoot away, knowing what was on his mind. Eventually he tried to mount her, and she flew off the fence, leaving him to land on the fence. But she landed on the ground just below him, and eventually she reojoined him. She wasn’t interested in a December breeding and nesting mid-winter, but they were still a mated pair and she didn’t outright rebuff his attentions, just any attempt to mate. I’ve not sure I’ve ever seen even an attempt to breed by any other bird species in December.

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  3. DJ, I changed my flight to the 16th. I will call you when I am there to find a time we can meet.
    I may try to change it back to the 15th, but I doubt I can.

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  4. Good Morning!! It is a gray overcast morning here in the forest and it is warming up…18 degrees!
    Cheryl I love mourning doves…their cooing brings such a feeling of comfort and calm to me for some reason. We have been so blessed to have watched the mamas teach their young how to take off in flight and nudge them along as they forage for food at the foot of our bird feeders. My Mother once said the sound of their cooing caused her to feel such sadness as it brought back memories of her mother’s death.

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  5. The funny thing about mourning doves’ cooing to me is that the first time I remember hearing it, I was sleeping in a tent in the backyard and it sounded spooky to me. I think it was early evening and I didn’t even make it through the night outside, but it’s a bit of a jumble, just that I had never noticed that sound before and found it spooky, and I think Mom told me it was just doves, but the mood of willingness to sleep outside that night was already broken.

    We had two species of dove in Phoenix (if you don’t count pigeons–rock doves), with Inca doves being far more common, and a species with which I really fell in love (including watching a nest of young ones grow up). I miss little Inca doves. We also had white-winged doves in Arizona, but I don’t remember them from my childhood, just from seeing them a couple of times in my early twenties. And I saw Eurasian collared doves in Alabama–a new species to the U.S., but apparently now found in a good portion of it. But plain little Inca doves will probably always remain my favorites, with mottled gray bodies but, when they fly, a surprising flash of reddish-brown under their wings and white under their tail.

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  6. The latest from a guild piece on our papers:

    ____________________________________________

    … As the cuts in the West continue, Digital First Media is quietly testing its latest way to slash costs and extract profits from its papers. The chain has already sold nearly all its papers’ buildings and land, forcing newspapers to lease office space. Now, Alden/DFM apparently wants to stop paying rent.

    The Sentinel & Enterprise in Fitchburg, Massachusetts, will close its offices by the end of February, the Boston Business Journal reported. Reporters and other employees will work from coffee shops, home — anywhere. The change is intended to save money, the paper’s editor said.

    The company is also using the profits extracted from layoffs and buyouts to purchase yet another newspaper that will no doubt follow the same downward spiral as DFM’s other papers. On Thursday, the company put in a bid for the Boston Herald, which will be put up for bankruptcy auction next week.

    Meanwhile, the NewsGuild and employees are pushing for DFM to sell its newspapers to local owners before the losses to communities are unrecoverable.

    The employee at the Orange County Register said that Alden’s plans to decimate DFM’s papers were “painful” to read about. But the recent announcement of the sale of the Los Angeles Times to a private owner has offered hope.

    “We saw L.A. Times people cheering because they were just sold. That would certainly be the case for us,” the employee said. “Can we all go through two or three more years of this? I hope not.” …
    ______________________________________

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  7. So Friday will be Christmas.

    Our newspaper, formerly owned by the NYTimes , was purchased by local folks a couple years ago. They, correctly IMHO, beefed up local coverage, particularly high school sports, sponsored paid obituaries and focus on the local scenes. They also publish NYTimes and AP information and sponsor a busy editorial page that routinely denounces the current administration.

    They are fixated on the current administration to such a large extent that the president appears almost every day on the front page. We skip all those stories and pay closer attention to events at home. The October events, of course, consume a lot of our attention and are important. I do not know how we would be managing without it.

    At least we know something now and are not in a dark hole.

    I hope the same for you all–isn’t that what you’ve heard from longtime San Pedro folks–that they miss the News Pilot for this very reason?

    It sounds to me like money people have seen a revenue source in buying weak papers, selling off their assets and dumping their true value to society–which is local news.

    It’s a terrible time in America. 😦

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  8. https://www.politico.com/agenda/story/2018/02/07/technology-for-aging-population-000633

    Digital natives will get old, too

    Why we need to start designing technology that older people can use.

    _______________________________________

    Technology can divide Americans as well as connect them, and older Americans face not one but two of these digital divides. Seniors are more likely to have lower incomes and live in rural areas—the traditional “digital divide” that cuts some people off from the fast internet hookups increasingly necessary to connect with work, services and friends. And the second divide is one even today’s most connected digital natives will eventually confront: The changes that come with aging make using digital services more challenging for the old than for the rest of the population.

    By 2050, the aging population will almost double, with one person over 65 for every three working-age adults. That’s a dangerously large part of the country to risk cutting off – but seen correctly, it can also be an impressively large market for tech firms who figure out how to reach it.

    The challenges for older tech users are physical, mental and cultural. Reduced vision can make small print harder to read. Changing speech patterns can make voice-activated devices less accessible. Shifts in memory can make it harder to remember passwords; hand tremors due to Parkinson’s or other neurodegenerative diseases can make using a mobile phone more difficult. Confusion and the unfamiliarity of fast-changing programs can make it difficult to recognize security threats, leaving seniors vulnerable to hacking and theft when using technology for banking and health care. It’s not just a matter of declining abilities: The fast-moving technology world places serious demands on our brains to learn new behavior patterns. Even today’s millennials, raised in a digital world, will hit these obstacles over time and start to find new technologies harder and harder to adopt.

    Is it any wonder that older Americans feel left out? While 88 percent of Americans under 50 have smartphones, just 42 percent of Americans over 65 do. But none of those physical and mental challenges mean seniors can’t use technology … it just means it’s harder for seniors the way we’re currently designing it. …
    _______________________________________

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  9. “just 42 percent of Americans over 65” have Smartphones? That’s actually a huge number, I would say, considering Smartphones don’t really offer many special benefit to seniors and they cost a lot of money and don’t last long. In other words, seniors who have them will, in some cases, have gotten scammed.

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  10. Bonne anniversaire, Kare.

    On technology and the elderly, I wonder about that every time I see that services in print or person are being phased out in favour of online ones. It is like that in banking. When I go to the bank for some reason or another, guess which is the predominant age group waiting to speak to an actual teller? Banks keep cutting more and more personnel (saves money not to have to pay all those people) and ‘encouraging’ customers to bank online, but not every one, not by a long shot, has access to the internet. Another group I wonder about with the rise of ‘smart’ technology is the visually impaired, as there are no tactile clues to touchscreens. The elderly are, of course, more likely to have visual impairment.

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  11. Seniors and tech: my dad is basically deaf. I have not been able to talk with him on the phone for years and if I leave a message with step mom, she won’t remember it. Anyway, second brother set him up with a phone that types out the call so the deaf person can read it as the conversation goes along. The first time I called, it worked really well and he was excited to be able to talk on the phone for the first time in years. The second time, lots of echoing and feedback, I know he was getting frustrated. Third time, never even got to talk with him due to the poor connection.

    Now, when I heard about it, I assumed some sort of voice recognition was being used. and the computer was typing in the words as we spoke. But brother assures me it is being typed by live people who listen to the conversation and type it out. Laughter is (laughter). I find that hard to believe in this day and age. And my brother is a joker. But he assures me that is the job his daughter is doing and I can see that. Is that how it works???

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  12. Thank you, all, for the birthday wishes. I didn’t go to the dogs, but I did come home to the dogs waiting patiently away from the door, so I could come in and take off all the winter wear without being harassed 🙂

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  13. Happy birthday, Kare,

    I agree with Roscuro, it’s disturbing to see all the elderly people lined up for the one or two young tellers in the bank. 17 of them, one day while I visited; all tired, no seats and one teller. Most just wanted to deposit a check.

    This is a reason, however, to have children. Who else will be able to help us manage all this? I told my husband I have to die first; I’ll never be able to keep anything electronic functioning in my home.

    He pointed out he gave me four techy savvy children to help.

    Which wasn’t helpful.

    I think a young, bonded, person could make a good sum of money just solving all the technical issues us old fogies have. Bonded, though, so they would not, hopefully, take advantage of our innocence/ignorance.

    Strange world.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. https://tifwe.org/biblical-warnings-government/

    What Are the Biblical Warnings About Government?
    _________________________________

    The debate about the size and role of government has huge implications for the lives of individuals all over the world. Important as the issue is, Christians are divided about what scripture has to say about government. What are some considerations that can help us frame this debate and work towards a conclusion? The Bible sets out four principles that can provide a foundation for the discussion.

    * Government is established by God.
    * Government’s role is more focused on punishing evil and praising good behavior than on providing goods and services.
    * Limited government suits a fallen people.
    * The Bible contains warnings about the increasing power of government.

    It’s this fourth point I’d like to tackle today. From Genesis to Revelation, the Bible is full of examples and warnings of abusive government. …
    ___________________________________________

    Liked by 2 people

  15. DJ – Thanks for sharing that. I’ve been thinking about the brief discussion (I think it may have been on the News/Politics thread) about government. I had mentioned that we say we don’t trust sinful people, but we trust government, which is made of sinful people. The reminder was given that God instituted government.

    I can’t remember what else was said, by me or anyone else, but since then, I’ve thought that it doesn’t have to be a matter of saying that God instituted government, therefore, any or every government is good. The U.S, government, for instance, has gone far beyond what was described in the Bible as what God instituted it for. And as a constitutional republic in which “we the people” have a voice (or are supposed to – some doubt that our voices and votes even really matter anymore – we need to do what we can to keep that government accountable. (Honestly, at this point, I don’t know what an ordinary citizen can even do to do that.)

    Another thought – Obeying the government is not the same as trusting in it.

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  16. I don’t see anywhere in Scripture that the role of government must be limited as modern capitalists and libertarian types think it should be. Those who use Scripture to support their modern political viewpoint are imposing ideas which did not exist in the time the Bible was written – there are no democracies portrayed in the Bible. It is clear that Paul was speaking of all and any form of government in Romans 13: “For there is no power, but of God; the powers that be are ordained by God”, not just the ones that we think should be. I was just reading World’s articles on the book I Kissed Dating Goodbye, and the journalist who wrote the article had a reflection that the Bible is not a textbook for deciding who to marry. In the same way, Paul was not writing a textbook for government but rather telling Christians how to live in whatever circumstances they were placed.

    I pointed out in the last conversation on this matter that even tyrannies had some kind of law enforcement, which stopped complete chaos from ensuing. It could also be said that a socialist government does not go out of the bounds of Paul’s description. There are many and repeated warnings about oppressing the poor in Scripture, from the law of Moses to the book of James. Proverbs warns that those who oppress the poor will be held accountable by God, who has made Himself advocate for those who cannot advocate for themselves. Paul calls governments the minister of God, to execute wrath on evil doers, and as it says elsewhere, that to know to do good, but not do it is sin. James makes it clear that paying inadequate wages to employees is evil. So, a socialist measure such as imposing a minimum wage is far from being outside the purpose of government as Paul describes it.

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  17. I loved William Windom back in the day (circa mid 1970s). He did a show based on Thurber’s writings, “My World and Welcome To It.” I think he passed away in his 90s several years ago.

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  18. He did a one-man stage show on Thurber which came to our university — I remember taking my mom to see it, we were both in tears, though, when he did a segment on a beloved dog who died …

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