Small thoughts, and big ones

Napoleona has had completely dry and clean big girl underwear for the last two days. Today for the first time her hair was long enough for braids. How did all this happen right under my nose?


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Anthropapa finally convinced me to move to Gmail. I’ve had a vanity email address for many years through NetIdentity, but their recent merger with Tucows has certainly not brought any added benefits, and in fact basic services like adequate spam filtering, and being able to access the server at, for example 10:30 this morning, have decreased.

Funny how we tend to hate moving to a new platform, be it a new email service, a new computer OS, or even a new cordless phone. It’s not like most of these things are outside our capabilities, but these transitions can be almost crippling for a while.

Added to that, I’m running a freelance business that depends primarily on email. This last week I had a long-time client get a bit tiffy because he couldn’t get in touch with me. Turns out I never got some of his recent emails. Not OK.

So, if you want to hire me to copy edit for you, crystalclearcopyediting@gmail.com.
If you want to complain about rambling blog posts, henitsirk@gmail.com.

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Today it was about 90F out with thunderstorms. The air was so moist you could literally see it. Lots of cloudbursts and booming thunder. I’m only just starting to comprehend just how dry most of California is. But somehow I am loving this weather (with the understanding that I’m spending most of the time in reach of an air conditioner, not working construction or anything), much more than I ever liked summer out west. There the temperatures were higher, and the sun seemed to beat down on me for months. Here the sun doesn’t seem so powerful, perhaps because it’s offset by the moisture in the air and the masses of greenery all around.

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Disgusting world economic fact:

“While the UN lists 34 countries as needing food aid, 30% of next year’s grain harvest in the U.S. will be converted to ethanol to fuel cars.”
-Organic Consumers Association Organic Bytes newsletter.

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I had a small dinner triumph the other night. Seems like I’m always rushing to get something made for dinner lately, and cooking has been a bit unappetizing with the hot weather. But once in a while, the cooking stars all align.

Anthropapa brought home a new ingredient from the grocery store recently: arepas. These are like thick yellow corn tortillas or flat corn cakes, originally from the northern Andes. We tried them fried but they were too dry. One of Papa’s comments about them needing sauce led me to this dinner inspiration: arepa torte! I made a quick cheese sauce and heated some frozen vegetables, then layered arepas with sauce, the veggies, and shredded cheese. It was somehow incredibly yummy!


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We’ve received several mailings recently from a local man running for County Legislator. His entire platform seems to revolve around halting high-density development that “increases our property taxes, weakens home values and damages our quality of life.”

If you look at these words, you might think, sure, high-density housing would lead to increased traffic, water and sewer usage, etc. And in a primarily suburban area like this, multi-family dwellings are rare.

But if you actually live around here, you know what the real target of this is: the Hasidic community. Because of RLUIPA, a federal law protecting, among other things, religious freedom in land use, local Hasidic groups have been able to build many developments that are tax exempt.

Perhaps some of these developments have been unfairly zoned for religious use. However, because orthodox Jews cannot drive to temple on the sabbath, their homes must be within walking distance of their synagogue. Ergo, locally high-density housing.

I’m not so sure that housing should be tax exempt. But I resent the thinly-veiled discrimination in Meyers’ political platform. And I resent the presumption that “our” way of life, meaning suburbia, is somehow a right that supersedes the needs of others for affordable housing (another kind of high-density development). The rest of the community should not have to pick up the tab to support additional infrastructure while religious groups build tax-free. But…this is all somehow icky in its dancing around naming the real target of its ire.

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