Very Unhealthy

546A4FD3-103F-4520-BEA2-1F3EAD94E4CCSmothered in a thick, sooty blanket of toxic smoke, San Francisco’s air quality index jumped to a jaw-dropping 271 yesterday afternoon.0B55A839-96E6-44D5-BFF4-E4AE2119DBF8The map below shows the air quality in the Bay Area, the purple color showing areas with “very unhealthy air quality.”0F517FC9-76B8-47E5-8E21-795AAF98AB47Unfortunately, forecasters are projecting that residents in the Bay Area shouldn’t expect significant relief from the wildfire smoke-choked air until next week.

627DBEBE-33D5-4595-A39C-2D0A2DA97020Here’s me yesterday afternoon wearing my respirator mask as I am out walking my dog. Wildfire smoke can irritate your eyes, nose, throat, and lungs. Hence, a lot of people in the area are wearing masks whenever they have to go outside.

The fire in Butte County, located about 150  miles north northeast of San Francisco, has already claimed 71 lives so far, destroyed more than 142,000 acres in Northern California, and over 1,000 people are now listed as missing.

But don’t worry. Donald Trump will be coming to California today to meet with victims of the massive wildfires. Trump said he also wants to meet with firefighters who have been battling the Camp Fire in Butte County.

No doubt his trip to California will clear the air.

Share Your World — Irony, Turkey, and Odd Smells

SYWMonday is Share Your World time and Melanie, from Sparks From a Combustible Mind, has, once again, posed her SYW questions.

What’s the most ironic thing you’ve ever witnessed?

Aside from just about everything Donald Trump says that is obviously laughable, like  “I’ve kept more promises than I made,” it would be seeing Trump’s loyal fans talking about how Trump supports the “little” people and how honest he is.43A7A463-FDE3-4D80-A722-F6AF25075D06

Let’s talk turkey. Pro or con? If pro, which part do you enjoy most? Is it for Thanksgiving (American Style any way) only?

Turkey is okay, so I’m neutral about it. I typically prefer white meat (the breast) to dark meat (the thigh or leg). No, it’s not necessarily just for Thanksgiving, but other than enjoying an occasional club sandwich, Thanksgiving is about the only time we roast a turkey.AF229211-5673-4B0A-948A-03EFD1E1AC3E

If you’d like, share one thing you wish you’d said to someone else, but now you’ll never have the chance.

“Don’t worry, be happy,” to my mother, who was a world class worrier. Of course, back in the day I may have given her plenty of things to worry about.

What odd smell do you really enjoy?

Have you ever walked by a commercial laundry and dry cleaning establishment and caught the smell of wet laundry drying in the drying machine? I love that smell. Well, you said “odd,” right?

Thankful November…share a story or time when someone did something really great for you. Alternatively, share your gratitude moments during this past week.

I am grateful that enough voters showed up at last Tuesday’s midterm elections to enable Democrats to take back the House of Representatives, which I hope will derail the Trump train…or at least slow it down.7671FF6E-15BE-475B-8317-AF584418FA3E

Parody of a President

In response to my one-word challenge, “parody,” Ruth wrote this excellent post in which she asked, “But how do you create a parody of a president who is already so wholly exaggerated in his bullish mannerisms and attitudes?” Great question.

Ruth Blogs Here

My personal notion of a parody is taking something or someone and exaggerating those little things that make them instantly recognisable, exposing and poking fun at their most common mannerisms and attitudes and in highlighting them in an over-the-top cartoonish caraciture of reality, holding them up for playful ridicule in a highly amusing way.

But how do you create a parody of a president who is already so wholly exaggerated in his bullish mannerisms and attitudes? How do you highlight as funny someone whose personal reality is so distorted that they live in a constant state of self-righteous delusion, especially when their perceived self-importance is channelled into playing out a truly important role they clearly have no real understanding of?

President Trump reminds me very much of the Queen of Hearts in Alice in Wonderland, in that:

‘The Queen had only one way of settling all difficulties, great or small…

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Unhealthy Air

Wildfires continue to rage in both Northern and Southern California. The Camp Fire in Butte County had grown to 105,000 acres, or 164 square miles, by Saturday evening and fire officials warned that weather conditions were changing for the worse, with high winds through Monday morning fanning the blaze and making firefighting even more difficult.

Even my iPhone weather app warns of unhealthy air quality in this city, which is 140 miles south southwest of the fire.FFE88000-CFD9-4F41-994E-14AA93AB2558 But in an even better example of unhealthy — and unhelpful — air, I present you with this:3600B921-B681-4644-9878-95C378079068

The Continental Divide

2DAE690D-23F7-43BD-A08C-8F1E1D04FCCEAmerica continues to be a nation divided, and with yesterday’s midterm elections, it now has a Congress divided.

The good news is that, despite gerrymandering that heavily favors Republican candidates in GOP-controlled states, voter suppression efforts, and a series of “glitches” with voting machines, Democrats have regained control of the US House of Representatives, a body that more closely reflects the will of the American people.

But Republicans strengthened their thin majority in the US Senate. For the record, Democratic Senatorial candidates across the board amassed about nine million more votes than did Republican candidates, but because there are more red states than blue ones, and because, with the exception of states like Texas and Florida, most Republican strongholds are more rural states, Republicans held the Senate.

Of course, our demented, clueless president, in another delusional tweet, has claimed victory in “this great Midterm Election,” and calls anything that contradicts his assessment “FAKE NEWS.”C0F69BD4-2741-4685-A3A1-96A3668DC9D9So it wasn’t the “blue tsunami” many Democrats were hoping for, but at least the Republican stranglehold in Congress has been busted.

Unfortunately, confirming nominations for the Supreme Court and other federal judgeships is exclusively the purview of the Senate, so we can expect a continued movement to the far right with respect to the judiciary.

That said, I’m hoping that the Democratic House will impose some checks and balances on Donald Trump, will be more aggressive when it comes to supporting Mueller in his investigations to the 2016 presidential election and possible collusion between Trump and Russia, and will take steps to insure future election integrity, will protect healthcare, Medicare, Social Security, women’s reproductive rights, LGBT rights, and will restore critical environmental protections.

In other words, I’m cautiously optimistic.