Monday, June 20, 2016


One of the real big issues going on in the world this week is the Brexit vote on Thursday. Then, people from Britain may or may not decide to leave the EU.
This could be very bad for Britain: International companies might leave, They will surely have to pay tariffs on French wine and Italian spaghetti. It may also affect London's status as a world banking center. 

On the other hand, many in the UK would love to get rid of those pesky French, Spanish, and Polish workers. And God forbid, they may have to allow in Syrians and Iraqis refugees. 

I can understand the Brexit argument. Right now the UK has a lower unemployment rate than most of Europe. They have their own oil and a special relationship with the Commonwealth countries. They would rather have bureaucrats in London make their laws than bureaucrats in Brussels. "He may be a bastard but he's our bastard". 

I understand the feeling about letting outsiders into a place. When I moved to Colorado in the seventies people muttered about New Yorkers were moving up the prices of everything from homes to ski passes. Perhaps the good old days were better. Americans complain about NAFTA, although we all eat a lot of Mexican fruits and vegetables nowadays without being aware of it.

At any rate the business community is very nervous this week. Britain could find itself with borders to Ireland and Gibraltar closed, at least till tolls are put in. Perhaps Britain could join NAFTA? They could make Bentleys in Monterrey.

Editor's note: Jade Joddle makes some interesting videos on YouTube. Her specialty is English grammar but she also dabbles in politics a bit.

Editor's note: I sold some stocks last week. I'm very proud of myself.

A chirping detector

One of the annoyances of modern life is being woken up at four o'clock with a chirping sound. The first time it happened I thought a bird had flown into my apartment. Eventually I caught on that it was the smoke detector. I figured out it needed new batteries.

A couple of nights ago, at four o'clock in the morning, I was woken up with a beeping sound. Five beeps. I thought it was the smoke detector but, upon closer examination, realized it was the carbon monoxide detector. In multiple dwellings in New Jersey you are required to have one of these and once in a blue moon the state sends an inspector to make sure you do.

I said huh, it must be the fan is spewing up dust. I probably should clean the blades on my fan. I did that, and the next morning, at four o'clock the smoke detector beeped five times. Then I said, oh, I guess it needs new batteries. I put in newly purchased batteries. Five minutes later, it started chirping.

Maybe I have carbon monoxide I figured. However I have an electric stove, the a-c was off and I have no cars within 60 feet, more or less. Then I went on the Internet. No quick advice there.

Finally I got desperate and read the instructions. Nothing there particularly helpful. I looked closely at the device. In tiny letters it said one beep means an emergency. Four beeps means new batteries. Five beeps means it's time to get a new carbon monoxide detector.  Guess I should get one of those. But it's almost new! Well five years old at the most.

Sunday, June 12, 2016

Television for aging baby boomers

I read somewhere that one of the rules behind Saturday Night Live is that they weren't going to be the
Carol Burnett show. As a youth I often had to sit through the Carol Burnett show because my mother thought it was cute, and at that time in history, parents still controlled the tv. I realized last week that I had become my parents. My generation had their own formerly hip stars like Tina Fey and Steve Martin. Now they were part of the establishment, just like Hillary and Bill. And we have our own show now, the modern day equivalent of Carol and Company. It's called Maya and Marty, and it allows us to enjoy humour that is more cute than funny.

Last night I watched PBS. There were more over the hill formerly hip stars like the Smothers Brothers and the New Christy Minstrels. An eighty year old Barry Maguire even sang the Eve of Destruction. It still inspires us.

Us baby boomers did so much. We ended the Vietnam war, fought in the civil rights movement and today even allow men to go into women's rooms after their sex change operations.  Some of us have our pensions, and money we inherited from Daddy. We are now able to get lazy, pop our prescriptions, and enjoy the humor of Maya, Marty, Jimmie Fallon, and say to ourselves, "Boy, that Tommie Smothers still has it!"