Squashed Lemons Shutdown Orange Wonders while Arrow Swims

The 101 Freeway has reopened! 60 dump trucks carrying about 30,000 pounds of mud each, and a bevy of excavators have been working to clean the highway 24 hours a day for the last two weeks. In addition to the mud, living room sized boulders, dragged more than a mile down the mountain by the mud, are being pulverized and removed. Fortunately, rain has been minimal since the mudslide. On to new issues like the lemon squeezer.
old lemon squeezer

For the last decade (at least), Nazy and I have relied on a sophisticated, solid, chrome mechanical lemon squeezer to provide the final touch for iced tea. The device is hefty and heavy — and indestructible. But, in the last year, I noticed..

“It doesn’t extract juice from the lemons, Nazy.”

“You’re doing it wrong.” Nazy replied. Predictably.

In point of fact, however, significantly more juice was extracted when I manually squeezed each lemon …
after said lemon had purportedly already been squeezed by the mechanical device. Nazy had a solid explanation.

“That’s not possible, Dan.”

“You spent too much time living in The Netherlands.” I replied as I thought of the Dutch National Slogan: “
Kan Niet” which translate to “It’s not possible.”
mechanical lemon squeezer

“It worked fine in Europe. Maybe American lemons are too..”

“Perhaps the squeezer part is not aligned with the lemon holder part?” I replied.

In the end, we compromised and bought an electric lemon squeezer. It works a little better, but it takes a lot of space on the counter and it has little rubber suction feet that make it hard to relocate. In short..

“It’s not a perfect solution.” Nazy, reluctant to cede counter space, noted.

“Is it better?” I asked.

“I wasn’t unhappy with the old one.” Nazy replied. Pointedly.

This week, Nazy joined the
Women’s March in Santa Barbara.
nazy pink

“I’m wearing pink,” Nazy explained as she waited for friends to pick her up.

“Enjoy the march.” I replied.

“Now it’s just a rally, Dan. They don’t have enough police to escort a march.”

“They must expect a big turnout,” I replied.
“We are in California and this was to be an anti-Trump march.
Every woman in the county will be there.”

In fact, the police are overwhelmed with patrols in the disaster zone. The rally started well, but then the (just elected) woman mayor spoke (at length) about how she had always wanted to be
the woman mayor of Santa Barbara.

“The previous mayor was a woman.” Nazy observed.

The Chumash Indians did a nice dance, but things went downhill from there. Members of the audience were invited to speak — starting with an anarchist followed by a militant transgender, bisexual, gay …

“Screamer.” Nazy explained. “So we left.”

Even too much for California,” I thought.

And, here in California, it was noted, with amusement, that the Federal Government has shut down.

“Don’t worry, Nazy,” I explained. “It could be worse.”

“How could it be worse?”

“They could reopen government, but with the same ‘

“Do you think they’ll be able to negotiate an agreement?”

“It is difficult to negotiate with someone who is as stable as a dandelion seed head. Someone with no principles and someone who can’t remember his own position. It is impossible to deal with he who shall not be named. It’s like negotiating with a tantrum-prone two year old. You have to talk with the parents.”

“it’s ..”

“…. a mess, Nazy. The best that can happen is
he muddles through until the mid-terms, the opposition sweeps into power and he’s (even more) marginalized. The only question then will be whether he’s swept out of office before the GOP can sweep him under the rug. Then the country will spend years trying to recover.”

“That’s the best choice?”

“Right. But it is also possible that enough people are bamboozled by the fake tax cut to allow the GOP to retain control of Congress. Economic collapse, caused by the demise of regulation, is delayed until
after his reelection. He starts an unnecessary war. The deficit explodes. When the Democrats finally take over they’ll have to fix the economy, trim the deficit, end the war and restore US credibility.”

“Hasn’t this happened once before?”

“Yes! (See George W. Bush.) Then GOP will suddenly rediscover their ‘principled’ concerns about the deficit and go back to doing what they do best: obstructing and complaining.”

This week, Nazy and I have had good times with Tiger and Arrow. I took both of them to swim class, but on different days. Tiger came along on Tuesday which is…
arrow swimming Jan 2018

“Arrow’s turn.” I explained. “Arrow will be in class. You swim tomorrow.”

“I don’t want to swim tomorrow. I want to swim today. Arrow can swim tomorrow.”

“Today it is Arrow’s turn,” Nazy soothed. “It is a class for babies. You are a big boy and your class is tomorrow.”

“I don’t want Arrow to swim today. I want to swim.”

“We can’t do that. It’s not your class.”

can do that.”
dan and Tiger walking to mission Jan 2018

“But, Tiger,” Nazy began, still convinced that logic would prevail.

“I wonder what Arrow thinks,” I interjected.

“Tigah.” Arrow replied.

Nazy somehow changed the subject and we concluded Arrow’s swim lesson successfully. Tiger went swimming the next day and before that he spent a lot of time with us on excursions to The Mission and Mission Park. He rides his tricycle …

“Actually, Nazy, I
push his tricycle.”

We’ve discovered that the rocky labyrinth that he constructed with Mitra (and his collection of bulldozers, excavators and dump trucks) has been disrupted by traffic and wondering (rock-tossing) brothers named Arrow.

We always make a stop at the kumquat tree to collect fruit for Nazy’s cold juicer. We pause to chuck pennies into the mission fountain. And we take selfies.

For last week's letter, please click here

Dan and Tiger Selfie

selfie dan and tiger Jan 2018

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