Bringing You Again Bad News About the USA: Being at the Right Place at the Right Time: Being a Good leader with Four Bad Examples; The Benefits of Doing the Right Thing:: More Bad News About Inflation; But Then Humour From the New Yorker; Photo of Busted Mirror and Explanation of Fish or Cut Bait

I do, these days ignore news of the United States (which are not) but this bad news caught my eye. This from the New York Times: “The American West is burning more quickly than it has in decades. New Mexico has been fighting its two biggest wildfires on record for more than a month. About 3 million acres of U.S, Land – almost the size of Connecticut – have already burned this year. And with summer starting tomorrow and a widespread head wave already in place, the burning is likely to get worse. The changing climate has created a troubling reality, ecologists and foresters said: Wildfire seasons have turned into wildfire years, staring earlier in the spring and somethings lasting well into the following winter.

No idea what is going on here in Northern Alberta but it has been raining, sort of on and off, for days. Everything looking very green and lush. Talk about being at the right place at the right time. That is me. But just remember this. “It is not enough to be at the right place, at the right time but you have got to be the right person.”  I think, nay I am convinced I am. You gotta be at the right place at the right time and doing the right thing. This is so tremendously true in my recent life: “Sometimes it takes a wrong turn to get you to the right place.” Abu Dhabi was definitely, decidedly a wrong turn. Martin Luther King, Jr. said: The time is always right to do the right thing..

There is a great leadership quote by Nelson Mandela: “A leader is like a shepherd. He stays behind the flock, letting the most nimble go out ahead, whereupon the others follow, not realizing that all along they are being directed from behind.” – Nelson Mandela. A good leader knows when to lead and when to step back.” Now I ask you, is Putin a good leader, was Trump a good leader, is the Ruler of Dubai a good leader, is the new President of the UAE a good leader?  The answer is clearly no.

Why is it good to do the right thing? Because it feels good to do the right thing. You will not feel good if you retaliate, bad mouth someone, or do anything otherwise negative. You WILL feel good if you do the right thing: stay positive, focus on something else, continue to be who you are, and treat people with kindness and compassion. More encouraging quotes:

• “Just one small positive thought in the morning can change your whole day.” — …
• “Opportunities don’t happen, you create them.” — …
• “It is never too late to be what you might have been.

Today is Monday. I sent an email to my incredibly efficient RBC banker asking her to research an important matter, ending my email in this manner.
Me: Happy Monday. It is so wonderful to be retired. You shall be one day.
She: Immediately responded with the answer, we agreed to look into the matter more thoroughly when we had more information at hand.

The poor woman has a long way to go as she is only 24. But she will do well, very well. She is SO efficient and the Edmonton City Center RBC bank has such a fine team. They work together excellently, you can just tell!  I shall go there today, place my plastic in a machine and out shall pop Canadian dollars. Oh such fun!

But there is more bad news, brought to us by reliable The Economist. “Clouds are gathering over economies almost everywhere. In the coming days Jerome Powell, chair of America’s Federal Reserve, will give testimony to Congress, telling a Senate committee how he sees the state of the country’s economy. It’s hard to know what to fret about more: prices or a recession? Inflation expectations are creeping up as the public confronts steadily rising prices (and a gallon of petrol that costs more than $5, just in time for the summer driving season). We’ve just published our take on how these expectations in this low-inflation era that endured for so long.”

But there is good news for Alexis Janice McBride, whose retirement income is paid in US dollars.  “So we’ll be watching in the coming weeks for more volatility in all sorts of markets. For all its troubles, America is a safe haven (so brace for a stronger dollar). In contrast the euro zone is in a shakier position. The ECB looks anxious. Is Italy’s big pile of public debt (worth 150% of its GDP) a threat for the euro zone in the face of rising financing costs? When my colleagues started throwing around the phrase “European doom loop” at first I assumed it was something to do with the CERN particle accelerator. It turns out that investors’ fondness for Italian debt may be the bigger threat (at least to the markets).”

But The Economist is not just about the economy, it looks beyond that. “Beyond that, there’s the continuing drama of the January 6th hearings in Congress. Our Lexington columnist summed it up a few days ago, suggesting that Liz Cheney, in particular, is laying out what effectively is a criminal case against Donald Trump for his actions before and during the mob attack on the Capitol. These hearings will carry on for a time yet, but it’s yet to be seen whether they will have much impact on the wider electorate. What would be a much bigger deal—and is expected to land at some point in the next couple of weeks—is a ruling by the Supreme Court on the federal right to abortion, and in particular on whether Roe v Wade will be overturned. The court is likely to deliver its judgment before the end of its current term. There’s no fixed date for that, but it is likely to be before the July 4th holiday. Elsewhere we are watching elections, as ever. The French have just dealt Emmanuel Macron a bloody nose, taking away his majority in legislative elections. The rise of the far-left, under Jean-Luc Mélenchon, has caused him quite a headache. And by Monday we should also know who the next president in Colombia will be. Look out for our report on that”

This blog needs humor at this point in time, and I have got some for you from the trusty New Yorker. This the Phrase Book for travelers with tips for the situation people might find themselves in if they travel.
Hello, flight attendant. I am drunk and ready to be duct-taped to my seat.
I want a room. A big room. With an air-conditioner and a fireplace. And can both be on at the same time?
Good afternoon. Does your country have electricity?
Here is the link for other treasures.

More good news. Andy is back with us again, Andy Borowitz. Here we go. Not funny yet but we are going to get to sheer hilarity. WASHINGTON (The Borowitz Report)—John Eastman has announced that he is “seriously considering” going to law school, in what he described as the pursuit of a lifelong dream.The embattled Eastman said that the idea of applying to law school first occurred to him while being deposed by the January 6th committee.

It is about to get really funny. “As I was taking the Fifth Amendment a hundred times, I realized there must be at least four other amendments, and possibly more than that,” he said. “I started wondering what those amendments were.” Eastman said that attending law school would “be a ton of work” but would probably make him a better lawyer. “Everything I know about law I learned at Trump University,” he revealed.” Then an oldie but a goodie from Andy ”Mark Zuckerberg has legally changed his name to Mother Teresa, Mother Teresa confirmed today.In an official statement, Mother Teresa said that he had changed his name to better reflect his mission of charity and kindness.“The name ‘Mark Zuckerberg’ did not accurately describe my function: to be a force for good, spreading love and kindness throughout the metaverse,” he said.
Mother Teresa admitted that it might be difficult to some Meta employees to get used to his new name, but he said he would given them until the end of October to do so.  Aster that, he said, any employee who refers to him as Mark Zuckenber will be immediately “expelled from the meta verse. “Sometimes you have to be cruel to be kind he said.”

I am about to go most serious on you, topics chosen already for my next two or three blogs. ext two or three blogs, so I shall overload you with humor in this one. This also from The New Yorker. This takes us back to a reunion from a Fancy College is the topic.
“Dear Fellow Francies, it has been ten years since we dunked our class rings in our Murphy’s mugs at graduation? It seems like just yesterday we were going on naked runs across Turner Green, attending naked parties in the basement of Ackerman, enjoying naked brunches in Webster Cafeteria, and going to class naked on Go to Class Naked Day.
I’m so glad that you’ve all made the trip back this weekend, whatever the reason—whether you’re here to show off your hedge-fund spouse, are still looking for a hedge-fund spouse, or just want to show an old flame that you’ve got hotter with age.
It was great reconnecting with many of you at last night’s Midnight Masquerade. Although, as fun as it was going wild to Taylor Swift’s “22,” the way my head felt this morning was a painful reminder that we are definitely not twenty-two anymore!And how about the nostalgia of sleeping in the dorms again? It’s been so much fun sharing a room with my old suitemates, Caroline L. and Caroline G. It’s just like freshman year, except without the suitemate we all hated, Emily Q., stealing our underwear only to gamble it away at Theta Kappa’s Up the Panty strip-poker tournament.
Now, before I go any further, I want to give a huge shout-out to Susan and the Fancy College maintenance team. I may have planned this reunion, but they are the heroes who made it happen. So let’s give them all a big round of applause.
That reminds me—Susan, someone vomited in the vestibule of Bartlett Chapel last night, just F.Y.I. Fellow-Fancies, let’s all make an effort to handle our liquor a little better at tonight’s Liquored-Up Luau.”

In the event that any of you think my life is easy the photograph attached shows some hard times. The floor length mirror delivered from Leon’s arrived broken, in the box. They promised to take it back and credit my account. Sometimes it is best to just give up – and I have. Do not want the anxiety of going through this again – what if the next mirror was broken as well? There is that marvelous expression: “Fish or cut bait” It means Either proceed with an activity or abandon it completely. For example, You’ve been putting off calling him for hours; either fish or cut bait. This expression, often uttered as an imperative, alludes to a fisherman who should either be actively trying to catch fish or cutting up bait for others to use. What is the origin of the phrase? The original version of the expression derives from the fishing industry, in which fishermen must literally decide who is to fish, and who is to cut the bait used for fishing. Both the task of fishing, and that of cutting the bait, were considered equally important to the goal of catching fish.

That is all for today.

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