Fall 2017 at the Renaissance Society

This semester has been very interesting with my Top 10 U.S. Issues class in the morning and Time Travel in the afternoon.

Top 10 issues topics so far have been:

  1. Income Inequality – with the Inequality for All (Reich, 2013) film as a discussion starter.
  2. Poverty, Hunger, Homelessness, Housing . . . – with the film The Line (Midgett, 2012).
  3. Financial industry & Government – with Inside Job (Ferguson, 2010) film as a starter: How depressing, I was an Obama supporter until I saw who he appointed as financial policy makers and regulators.

Although it is easy to see the interesting topics and the discussions that follow the films, the most important part of the class is the section where we hear about folks implementing solutions to the problems created in those issues. Folks who are housing advocates, food banks operators, etc., give us their perspectives on the impacts that can be made locally. Ken Cross has put together a great class schedule and is an effective facilitator.

In the Time travel class we have looked at three methods of time travel to date.  What fun the class is. We saw a time machine travel 800,000 years, a time travel phone booth that could easily hold a dozen or so people as it zipped across 3,000 years or so, and a beta level time machine that was pushed to the extremes of the battery sources available. Can you guess what we saw?

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The Heat Wave adventure

What an adventure. Spent a week in Sac during the 108 degree heat wave preparing for a 10 day trip to the Oregon Coast (aka., 61 degree high) and had no clue what to pack. I ended up packing winter, spring and a day of summer. Wore the spring gear without a windbreaker as we were very lucky that the sun came out for 6 of the 9 days there and we saw 68 degrees most of the days.  Golf was fun in the rolling hills on the coast (reminded me of Spy-glass in Monterey). Saw a lot of clam-diggers from the condo balcony and thousands of clam holes in the sand walking on the beach at Siletz Bay.

Had lunch with Jon (of Jan & Jon) at the Inn at Spanish Head where we had a number of happy hour clams during our stay. What a beautiful view. Returned to 93 degrees in Sac with cool 70 degree nights (60 degree low) and “Independence day” where we celebrate not walking down streets with people carrying automatic weapons by blasting off fireworks.

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Spring Classes have Ended

Over the past 13 weeks I have been going to classes on Friday at Sacramento State under the auspices of the Sacramento renaissance society.

My first morning class was Medical Rights and Wrongs and was structured around the progress of medical ethics since 1967.  Howard Slyter was the lead and is a retired neurosurgeon along with Kathy Glasmire, his Co-Leader.  The Class was fantastic.  Howard would start each class with a short presentation and then usually present an ethical dilemma for the class to discuss.  We started with the trolley dilemma and ended with the medical dilemmas faced by doctors, hospitals, and court systems when dealing with the very premature babies and brain dead people (both situations happen to be in the news in Sacramento at the time).  I don’t think there was one class where there wasn’t very diverse opinions and emotional discussions.

My second class on Fridays was a romantic comedies class led by Chip Zempei.  Chip had collected 13 romantic comedies(?) that were often on the very edge of the romantic comedy formula of: boy meets girl, boy loses girl, comedy ensues, boy gets girl back.  That class was very fun.  We started with Strictly Ballroom (1992) and ended with some shorts that included “Dr. Horrible’s sing along blog,” Valse, Paperman, Head Over Heels, Lava, and Josephine and the Roach.  My favorites were “the lunch box” (2013) and the original Japanese version of “shall we dance” (1996).  I’m pretty sure I will take any class that Chip offers as he is very passionate about film arts.

I also took a digital photography class on Tuesdays Tuesdays led by Jeff Hendy and Mary J. Henwood where we had lecture/videos/discussion one week and then a field trip to take photographs that we would share.  In both cases we would end up having lunch somewhere together.  Had lots of fun, learned a little about digital photography, and met quite a few very nice people.

I do plan to continue taking these classes next year as they were fun and I met lots of interesting people.

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Fall is definitely here!

Most of the leaves on my fruitless mulberry are gone.  The compost bin is getting fuller and the temps are down to the 50s in the daytime.  Still not much rain but our hopes are high with the projected weather due to the El Nino.

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Spring has sprung

Another gorgeous spring. Lavender is blooming, pollen falling like the lazy frozen mist of winter, and leaves popping up through the dry but misted earth.  The last of the oranges and lemons are calling to be picked.  The golf courses are screaming welcome with new mown grasses.

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Old times in the HOT town tonight

Well I haven’t posted since last November.  Its July now and it is hot.  Almost miss the freezing weather of late fall.  Playing a lot of golf at dawn.  By the time I’m done with nine holes, it’s between 7:30 and 8 AM and in the mid 60s. Start at dawn and 18 holes are done by 9:30-10:00 when it is in the mid 70s (or low 80s on a really hot day).

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Our first freeze

Woke up this morning to frost on the grass.  Looks like winter is here.  All the leaves are starting to turn yellow.  Guess I need to make some kitchen wreaths before the grapevines lose their leaves.  We have decided to make some rosemary, sage, and savory wreaths.

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