Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Life goes on....

Kristy and Ryker (and Alexis), 11/29/13
1. Recently, a ballot measure in Albuquerque was voted down that would have established a ban on abortions after the 20th week of pregnancy.  (Or, at least, it purported to establish such a ban.  I doubt it would have survived the lawsuit that surely would have ensued had it passed; I'm certain 95% of judges in the area would have been inclined to find some "constitutional" defect or another.)  I'm told that the measure over-reached to the extent of barring abortions of babies who are certain to die outside the womb, anyway.  Nonetheless, it speaks pretty loudly of Albuquerque that a majority of voters have no problem with their city's being Late Term Abortion Central.  I've never watched an entire episode of the recently concluded TV series Breaking Bad, but it occurs to me that the morally bleak Albuquerque it depicts isn't far from reality.  

2. I've always had the habit of "picking" at the tips of my thumbs, but in the last year or two I've taken it to extremes, tearing skin off even the pads of my thumbs, making them raw and causing them to bleed.  I don't know what sort of neurosis has driven this change, but the only things that keep me from doing it are (1) putting band-aids and rubberized first-aid tape on my thumbs, or (2) constantly "filing" the skin with an emery board to remove any asperities that I might otherwise pick at.  The first really isn't a solution, as it only prunes the skin and makes it an even more tempting target.  The second is inconvenient, but it works as long as I keep doing it; I may simply have to take an emery board with me everywhere.

3. It is a quirk of my personality that I've decided a dress shirt shouldn't cost more than about $12.00, and I refuse to pay more than that; needless to say, I don't buy designer shirts, and the shirts I buy have to be very deeply discounted before I'll spring for them.  (I laughed when Mitt Romney's wife Ann, in an effort to appear "jus' folks" [and not the mega-rich people she and Mitt were and are] during the 2012 presidential campaign, commented on how she shops at Costco and regards its Kirkland store-brand shirts as a great value at $17.99.  Somehow I doubt Mitt has really ever worn a Kirkland shirt, but I wouldn't even pay $17.99 for one!)

4. So the Obama Administration has, together with several European nations, entered into an agreement with Iran concerning its nuclear-weapons program.  Based on what I've read, it appears the bedrock purpose of the agreement was to relax economic sanctions on Iran -- which cannot help but have the effect of bolstering the fascist radical-Shiite government there -- and to make it infeasible for Israel (heretofore America's ally) to launch a solo strike at Iran's nuclear facilities, all without extracting any significant concessions from the mullahs.  If there's a point to it, it sure isn't to encourage democratic government in the Middle East or, evidently, to prevent Iran from obtaining nuclear weapons.

5. I read an article recently that described current sociological trends in Japan.  It's long been evident that Japan is in a population nosedive, as the fertility rate has dropped well below "replacement" level, yet Japanese society doesn't allow immigration on any sort of scale.  However, the article I read cited polls showing that a significant number of Japanese adults not only aren't having children (or getting married), but aren't even interested in dating or in having a relationship with a member of the opposite sex.  Somehow I don't think the Japanese are becoming asexual (or significantly more homosexual), which suggests that something is taking the place of a lot of relationships -- and that "something" almost certainly involves ubiquitous pornography, the impossible fantasies it engenders, and the relative simplicity of "self abuse" compared to an honest-to-goodness relationship.  Many people have spoken out against the evils of near-universally available pornography, but few seem to have contemplated the possibility of entire nations dying out because of it.

6. I recently got a new pair of eyeglasses, my first in several years.  I decided to get plastic frames on this go-round, and it was only after ordering them that I remembered that the last time I got glasses with plastic frames was in 1978, when I purchased a pair to take with me on my church mission to Chile.  (I used them for a number of years after my mission when I took out my contact lenses.)  I like my new glasses, as they're certainly more comfortable than any of the metal-framed eyeglasses I've had in the intervening years; however, I've found to my annoyance that the relative thickness of the frame actually enlarges my "blind spots" while driving a car.  I have to turn around quite a bit farther to make sure the way is clear before changing lanes.

7. To my dismay, I'm getting the urge to buy yet another guitar, this one a made-in-Mexico Fender Telecaster, finished in "Aztec Gold" and offered by Guitar Center.  I still think the spice of life lies in being able to spend money frivolously on occasion, but I have absolutely no use for another electric guitar!  Even one that looks like this:

8. It appears that the Albuquerque 11th Ward (singles ward) is fading from memory.  The two "alumni" reunions (in March of 2011 and May of this year), combined with the sharing of photographs and videos, seem to have sapped most 11th Warders' desire to communicate with each other.  Perhaps we've put our "ghosts" to rest -- I certainly had more than my share -- and have realized that it's pointless to try to go back in time.

9. I have several obsessions -- principally jackets, shoes, and (in recent years) Adidas shorts.  I don't know how many jackets and coats I have, but the number is more than I can wear regularly.  I have about twenty pairs of shoes that I wear regularly, including three pairs of running shoes.  And I have about 16-17 pairs of Adidas shorts, all in different colors, that I wear to the gym on a rotating basis. 

10. Here's a recent photo of all of our grandchildren -- Kristy's six (Nicole, Zach, Alexis, Maddi, Hailee, and Ryker), Heidi's two (Kayla and Tyler), Devery's three (Mason, Noelle, and Leah), and Kiley's one (Joey).  Our house gets pretty lively when they all come to visit, but they are the biggest joy of my life.  The photo above shows Kristy holding Ryker at their house after Chris gave the baby a name and a blessing (an LDS priesthood ordinance).
Our grandchildren as of November 2013