Friday, March 3, 2023

For Once, Birds Don't Strip the Quince

This is going to be a short post because I have to get to school early today to receive my new phone! Yes, I finally took the plunge and ordered another one. My current phone, which I got in September 2016, has become almost comically unable to hold a charge. I charge it to 100 percent in the morning and by mid-afternoon, after hours of doing nothing in my pocket, it's magically at 1 percent. I've turned off all the apps I can and I don't keep web pages open, yadda yadda, and none of it helps.

I guess more than six years is a pretty long life for a phone.

At any rate, a new one is coming to me today, complete with a new camera! I'm excited about that. I had it shipped to school and I want to be sure to be there when it arrives.

Meanwhile, here are some pictures of more blooming things in our garden. The top one doesn't quite count because it's a potted geranium, and I've been bringing it in during cold spells, but I appreciated the fact that it decided to bloom now. The blue flowers are lungwort.

And finally, there's the flowering quince. In years past birds have picked the little round flower buds off the bush -- Dave has watched them do it -- but this year many of them seem to have made it to maturity, so we're getting lots more flowers. I'm not sure what that says about our bird population but I'm happy to enjoy the quince.

I read an interesting article yesterday in Vanity Fair about residents of towns in scenic parts of Montana and Wyoming, and how they're coping with an influx of wealthy residents from the coasts. Understandably, there is culture clash. But the article made clear to me that the divisions in our country aren't all about Right vs. Left -- they're also about the dominance of corporations, the explosion of chain stores and loss of local character, the creep of soullessness that comes when Big Business turns its sights on the places that you love, and that you call home.

As much as I loathe Donald Trump and fear the fanaticism (and casual racism) of his followers, I actually agree with them on certain points. Our country does have major problems. The economic inequalities have become too great, the wealthy are too powerful, corporations have run amok, globalism has caused our communities to suffer. I think many people who consider themselves moderate or liberal would agree with those points. Where I differ with the Trumpers is the best way to address those issues. I see government and regulation as the solution. They see government as the problem.

Anyway, it was an interesting article and it got me thinking about all that. I wish we could reframe our political divisions so we don't think about Right vs. Left or Democrat vs. Republican, and instead think about the issues that worry ALL of us. There's a lot of overlap. In fact, it serves our corporate overlords to squabble about Drag Queen Story Hour rather than the things that really matter, like the fact that the middle class is being hollowed out.

Last night I talked on Zoom with my friend David back in New Jersey, who I haven't spoken with in years -- since before the pandemic. It was good to catch up with him. He's going through some life changes, so I heard about those, and he's planning a trip to Europe this summer, hopefully I'll get to see him.

And now, off to work, after a post that turned out not to be short after all!


Rachel Phillips said...

We never did frame it left versus right. It relatively new and it is horrible and ruining everything good about people and getting along with each other. It never bothered people like it seems to now. I live in the past and try to ignore it.

Moving with Mitchell said...

I'm focusing on the quince.

Yorkshire Pudding said...

You are having your new phone "shipped" to your school? Presumably the ship will travel up the Thames and dock on the north bank somewhere near Pimlico or Chelsea. I guess it will have come from China where most smartphones are manufactured. Knowing what my son and daughter's new phones are like, I have a feeling you will be wowed by the vastly improved camera facility.

Boud said...

Lungwort is a lovely flower with a terrible name. The Latin is just lungwort in Latin. Who gets to name beautiful plants with terrible names? Henbit, hogweed, coltsfoot, on and on. I will now lead my hobbyhorse back to its paddock after a brisk little outing! Take that, botanists!

Bob said...

My issue with the MAGAts is, while agree about income inequality, why they think an alleged billionaire who has never lifted one pudgy digit n his entre life to help anyone other than himself would suddenly, in his 70s, be the savior for the Middle and Lower classes.

Ed said...

You needed to add the word CELL into your statement about the life of a phone. I have seen phones older than me that might continue to work long after I'm dead if the physical hard lines are maintained.

Change is hard for anybody, left or right. So I understand why people gripe and tend to blame our government. My hope is that someday people will realize there can be a lot of middle ground and drift back from the polar left and right.

Ms. Moon said...

All I can say is- you are going to love that new phone. Not only for the camera but also for the storage up the wazoo! Bring back your apps!
Or don't.

The Bug said...

Yes, I remember that about my dying phone - it was crazy. And it took me a minute to figure out what was going on because it otherwise was just fine. Ha!

Lovely flowers! And I totally agree with your assessment of our political situation. I'm trying to quit being so knee-jerk in my response to all things "right."

NewRobin13 said...

I'm looking forward to seeing the photos from your new iPhone. As I type this comment I think that phone must have already been delivered to the library and is probably charging by now. New iPhone photos tomorrow!
Lovely to see spring blooming there. It's slowly happening here with lots of daffodils brightening the day.
The politics of our country and our world are crazy, manipulated by the powerful and played out by the powerless.

Pixie said...

I tried to read the article but it's too depressing. The world has always been so, just the names have changed.
The flowers are lovely though.

Red said...

I agree with your description of our present situation. It seems like a solution would be simple. However, money gets in the way.

Sharon said...

I just watched a video of Jon Steward interviewing a Sen. from Oklahoma who is sponsoring some bills to loosen gun laws. He thinks we would all be safer if there were more guns. He also supports a bill to ban Drag Queens from reading to children. And the guy was trying desperately trying to defend that position. It's insane.
I agree, we need to start trying to solve the real problems. I wish I knew how to get that started.
The flowers are looking great.

Kelly said...

I still highly recommend the book "I Never Thought of It That Way" by Mónica Guzmán. It sounds like you're on the right track with what you've said here. There IS a lot of middle ground on many issues that we should embrace (or at least calmly consider)!

All your flowers are lovely, but oh... that quince!

Allison said...

Until dark money is removed from politics, politicians will do what's good for their donors and not for the citizens. Fox News has brain washed the people that watch it. Their viewers can not see that republicans help the wealthy at the expense of the middle class and the poor. Trump's last tax cut added 25% to the deficit in his four years. And then there are the guns, five people were shot last night in the Pacific NW. Five, this is almost a daily occurrence. As I so frequently say, it's a good time to be old.

Margaret said...

Our world views now are so aligned with left or right that it will be difficult to find any common ground. Once a Trumper finds out that a person is a leftie, they are evil, dangerous know-nothings. And I hate to say it, but I have issues agreeing with anything that the ultra right wing espouses. What are you getting as a new phone? I have an iPhone 12 Pro, 2 years old and like it a lot.

Catalyst said...

You're correct, of course, about the need for the polarization to be put aside so some of those problems you cited could be solved. But I'm afraid it's been going on for too long. And social media just spurs it on with lies and conspiracy theories presented as fact and too many people simply believe all that stuff. It's sad and makes me wonder where the country will go and what it will become but I won't be around to see it. So it goes.

John Going Gently said...

The one good thing about covid was and is zoom

Nikki - Notes of Life said...

It looks like your garden is doing well as we head into spring :)

Andrew said...

Capitalism is out of control. It is the best system we have yet its excesses need to be firmly monitored and controlled. The latest lie here comes in the form of 'greenwashing', with companies far overstating their environmental credentials. The rampant excesses is what the 'forgotten people' should focus on.

Have great fun with the new phone and we will be expecting some high quality photos to appear soon.

sparklingmerlot said...

It seems the be that the extremists of either (any) persuasion are the most vocal. The majority of us just want to live peacefully, not in poverty and be kind. I am sure there are many politicians of all backgrounds who went into politics to make a difference. I wonder when and how they found out what they had signed up for. I'd love to hear from them.
Enjoy that phone.
The quince have an almost japonica look about them.

River said...

I agree that big corporations are to blame for a lot of our troubles and the cause of that is their greed for more and more $$$$.
What do you do with the Quince? Do you make jellies or jams? Quince pie?

Steve Reed said...

Rachel: When you say "we," who do you mean? I do think the polarization is destructive.

Mitchell: Probably a good idea.

YP: Don't British people say "shipped" even if a ship isn't literally involved? (Though I assume one was, at some point in my phone's life.)

Boud: I'm with you on lungwort -- terrible name! Coltsfoot is much better, though I guess technically colts have hooves.

Bob: Oh, I completely agree. How Trump has convinced these people that he's on their side and fighting for their best interests is a complete mystery to me.

Ed: You're right -- the old landline phones last forever. Planned obsolescence is built into a cell phone!

Ms Moon: Yeah, it's got TONS more storage than my old one. Kind of a ridiculous amount, actually.

Bug: I think that's wise. I'm doing the same thing. I'm really trying to understand where people are coming from.

Robin: I have indeed posted some new photos, though by the time the phone was charged and set up there was no daylight. So I'll have to experiment with it more!

Pixie: I didn't find it depressing, weirdly -- at least no more so than the daily newspaper!

Red: That's absolutely true. Our political situation is largely the result of profiteering. As Andrew said below, it's partly capitalism run amok.

Sharon: There are too many politicians trying to win easy political points on these hot-button issues. Voters shouldn't fall for it, but they do.

Kelly: I need to read that book!

Allison: Eliminating the Fairness Doctrine (and thus enabling Fox News) is one of the worst things our government ever did.

Margaret: I have an iPhone 14 Pro. Yeah, it's that presumption that the other side is "evil" that bothers me, though I fall into that kind of thinking myself. (Hard not to, when some of them are banning books and demonizing gay people!)

Catalyst: Social Media is a huge part of the problem. It reduces any argument or discussion to its most extreme elements.

John: Skype really missed the boat. They pre-existed Zoom but somehow missed out on that opportunity.

Nikki: So far, so good! There's still some work to be done out there.

Andrew: I completely agree, and this is where the government regulation comes in. Capitalism by itself will simply chew up people and the environment as "resources" to be consumed.

Caro: We've seen several politicians get out of the business because it's so toxic -- Adam Kinzinger, for one.

River: This type of quince doesn't bear fruit, just flowers. It's purely ornamental. Our corporations began to run off the rails when Milton Friedman advocated that their only responsibility is to their shareholders, not their employees or society at large.

ellen abbott said...

I agree with you on the problems in this country but it's the republican policies that have got us here with their no regulation and tax cuts for the rich and always siding with big business.

I do like the flowering quince.

Jeanie said...

Well, if you can ever figure out a way to reframe the political conversation and make it as you suggest, I think the world will thank you. It does get so old.

Love your quince and three cheers on the phone!

37paddington said...

Your second paragraph, the series Yellowstone, set in Montana, is kind of all about that conflict. You might enjoy it, though I don't find many characters to root for. I enjoyed its prequel 1883 much more.