Saturday, January 23, 2016

I flew to Washington, DC via Denver. The Denver airport is horrible in my opinion. I stayed first with John and Dan in Arlington. It was nice to catch up with John, who I have known for over 20 years.

John is taking a French class.

While there I had my first glass of port, which seemed like extra strong grape juice to me.


I went to attend an archaeological conference. On Thursday I sat through many 15-minute-long presentations. I can't say that I really learned much, most people do not know how to give talks. I did get to see many people I don't often get to see, plus Barney who is now living in Maryland. On Friday I gave my talk and, as usual, did an excellent job, People came up afterword to tell me how interesting it was.


I then moved over to TJ and Rob's house. We had an excellent time being lazy and watching television and talking about things and peoples. Plus their adorable cat Chuck was fun to play with. I showed them something that Forrest taught me, that cats need to be carried around and allowed to smell things that are typically out of reach. Chuck enjoyed that.

Rob, Chuck, and TJ.

On Sunday morning I made sugar cookies and showed Rob and TJ how to decorate cookies. The results were mixed (the frosting was not a little off.


On Sunday I headed over to Jim's house. We had supper with another gay archaeologist I met at the conference- Ethiopian food. It did not agree with me.

Monday and Tuesday were spent at the National Archives reading through 22 Civil War pension files, including one for my Ransom great great grandparents. The staff was very helpful and the cafeteria cook made me nice grilled cheese sandwiches.

National Archives.

Tuesday afternoon I met up with Pat in the Metro station. Pat and I have been friends since 1987 when we worked on the same crew at Fort Union Trading Post. I spent the night with Pat, his wife, and their teenaged daughter Bridget. It was great catching up.

Homer and Pat.

Of course I caught a cold and spent last weekend taking many, many naps. I am all better now.

Friday, January 22, 2016

Flint and Detroit were once bustling manufacturing towns, where millions of autos were made and millions of tax dollars generated. Those tax dollars helped build infrastructure in western and northern Michigan- state highways, bridges, dams, utilities, etc.

Flash forward to a time when Detroit and Flint have shed most of those jobs, lost population, and lost white people (who fled starting in the 1960s).

I visited Gov. Rick Snyder's Facebook page to see what people were saying about the Flint water crisis. The majority of people are calling for him to resign. A minority of white folks from western and northern Michigan are placing the blame mostly on the residents of Flint. It is their fault they had lead pipes, their fault that the city had financial problems caused by the movement of the auto industry elsewhere, their fault because they elected African-American politicians. And similar racist bullshit.

These white folks in places like Holland and Kalamazoo are living in communities enhanced by projects funded by tax dollars created in Flint and Detroit. And yet they have hardly any sympathy for the residents of Flint because they are poor and African-American. All they can do is victim-blame the people being poisoned.

It is really disheartening sometimes to see what a cesspool of hate that has developed because of Fox "News," Rush Limbaugh, and others of that kind.

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