The Hong Kong affair

The protests going on in Hong Kong will not influence the authorities on the Mainland, who are only permitting these dissensions because they need Hong Kong as their trading hub. When the British sailed off in 1997 they left behind a bustling, readymade, business structure for the communist government. Not that the Mainland has been a slouch at doing business since, but Hong Kong is unique in that they have been at it longer, and have special international ties the Mainland has yet to develop.

Free elections for Hong Kong? Not on your life! The leash may be loosened a wee bit, with subtle restrictions imposed in other areas of liberties. People might disappear, in the slick way the commies are good at. Perhaps their organs might be harvested and sold so no part of them will be wasted. They didn’t do that to me because I had Italian citizenship, but I Was told to sign a confession to espionage or else be shot. Empty threat, just because of the Italian papers. I was unaware of that, though, when I refused to sign.

Young people are prone to taking extreme stands of principle, and I was one such. I am far away now, and watching their government trying to suppress rebellions springing up in their interior. And how they are juggling extreme capitalism with the communist creed by hiding money in American real estate.

Wonder when the entire system will collapse?


The Elysian Fields

A friend received this sympathy card from her cat’s vet and forwarded it to me. I realize the piece is overworked, yet its essence must resonate with too many of us.

“When a beloved pet dies, it goes to the Rainbow Bridge. It makes friends with other animals and frolics over rolling hills and peaceful, lush meadows of green.

“Our pets do not thirst or hunger. The old and sick are made young once more; the maimed and the ill become healed and strong. They are as healthy and playful as we remember them in days gone by.

“Though happy and content, they still miss someone very special, someone they had to leave behind.

“Together, the animals chase and play, but the day comes when a pet will suddenly stop and look into the distance…bright eyes, intent, eager body quivering. Suddenly recognizing you, your pet bounds quickly across the green fields and into your embrace. You celebrate in joyous reunion. You will never again separate….And now, you cross the Rainbow Bridge together.”  –Author unknown


A couple of decades ago I sent in a clipping from the San Francisco Chronicle’s Sunday Magazine along with a sample of my handwriting. The result came back in four pages of upper-case print and set me to thinking about each attribution addressed by the analysis. I don’t know what I was expecting, perhaps a clearcut blueprint for carrying out my goals in writing. It told me a things about my character and personality. Interesting, I thought, not sure if all were accurate. Of course I agreed with the flattering parts.

In recent years graphology has fallen from grace in the media, which questioned its authenticity as a science.  I once read somewhere that graphologists were employed at banks. I wonder if that is still true.

But I have this question about graphology. Can it do anything about the kind of writing that now and again is appearing on our landscape? I am seeing print instead of cursive script. These adult writers appear to have attended decent public schools, which brings up questions about standards and oversight. But a neighbor’s child recently wrote me a note in cursive. It was endearingly sprawl-y and misspelled, yet it was still cursive. Good to see.

Whale meat

The Rakuten Group of Japan merrily continues selling whale meat. The supply is unaffected by the International Court ban on whaling in Antartica, since the ruling addresses only the southern ocean and says nothing about whale meat sales in Japan.

So the slaughter goes on of whales and dolphins whose meat, I repeat, contains 16 times more mercury above the safe level. Japan has had issues with mercury before; I remember those awful photos of disabled children in their mothers’ arms, blasted by consumption of mercury-tainted fish. Will they ever learn? Like China, Japan is fueled by commerce to the detriment of human health. They are racing toward population disaster at the expense of whales and dolphins. Last report states the Japanese government is reinstating whale hunting. At least the United States posts the occasional warning about the dangers of eating too much pelagic seafood and the president is TRYing to ban coal-fired manufacture. China is pulling back, though too late. Everyone I know who has been to China returns with pneumonia. I am aware of mixing whales with carbon pollution in this essay but doubt the infraction is serious.

And this:

“Japan is awash in the ivory trade.” — see

The Autocorrect thing

My friend Barbara in Florida emailed asking what I meant by “orange forum” in my email to her. I had no idea. Ever since acquiring my iMac last December this new feature has been launching sneak attacks on my prose. It will, even before I have finished typing a word, change its spelling to transform it to another meaning. Recently I typed “susceptible” and right before my eyes, it became “suitable” because I had misspelled “susceptible,” which even now cramps my fingers. This autocratic behavior of the app obliges me to proofread my eyes out, and a good thing, too.

I know I do an injustice to Mr. Autocorrect, for to tell the truth I have difficulty spelling some words, such as “triptych.” So I do him an injustice as he has saved my bacon countless times. For this reason, I have not canceled his interference in my affairs. The tussle continues. 


I watch it every time it is out. It’s other title is Gato In Botas, a remarkable rendering of a tabby cat in boots, belt ands swashbuckling hat. Dreamquest Animation’s production of Puss In Boots should be shown to convalescent patients everywhere, for the film certainly elicits smiles and helpless laughter and cannot do anything but improve the mental and thus, physical state.

The Puss is so danged cute! while swaggering about speaking in Antonio Banderas’ voice. And I confess it — his dancing the fandango with Pussy Softpaws is worth viewing for itself alone.

I recommend it to anyone in the doldrums. Guaranteed to uplift.

And this:
My cat Loaner makes me laugh many times a day. When she goes out through the cat door she will not come in via the same, but waits out there for me to open the door and make a fuss over her, both of us uttering trills as she enters. This has been going on for a long time. But now even when the door is open she will not come through it. I have to be there to usher her in. She is capable of waiting for hours, this estimable pussycat, my Loaner von Boobie!