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Trump’s Letter To His Successor

December 3, 2018

George Bush Sr. wrote a great letter to Clinton at the end of his term. We just discovered a draft of #45’s letter to his successor.

Dear Next President (who won because 5 million immigrants voted illegally),

When I walked into my office ,I realized I am the best President ever, no doubt, believe me. You will never be as great as me.

You will wish you were as great as me, but sadly, there is only one Donald and that would be me. I never felt alone here, because I was always with me, and who could ask for a better companion. Plus I had a direct line to my best buds Vladimir and Sean.

There will be many fake news stories about me and people who were not loyal (most of whom are now in jail).

My advice would be to listen to your gut. I know my gut knows more than my brain and I can hear my gut talk to me (especially after I eat Big Macs and fried chicken)

When you read this you will think I am gone, but not really, I will never leave, don’t tell anyone (especially Melania) but I am hiding in the Blue Room which I am painting gold.

You will never be as successful as me, so sad.

Good luck with that umbrella

DJT (the best president ever)


We Have Forgotten

September 11, 2018



Today is September 11, 2018. If you have been on Facebook, Twitter, other social media, or god forbid, read a newspaper, you have probably seen the remembrance of 9/11/01 with the slogan, “We will never forget”.  The only problem with that is we have.

When the two planes struck the towers at the World Trade Center, and we heard the news of the third plane going down in Pennsylvania, and the plane hitting the Pentagon, the country for a short time was united. We grieved for the loss of life,  we were outraged that America had been attacked, we turned to each other for comfort, strangers shared emotions and racial lines blurred. We wanted to know who was responsible and we wanted to avenge the deaths of so many.

Our emotions blinded us into believing the government when we were asked to go to war. So once again we sent sons and daughters into battle. The world stood by us and joined in the fight for retribution. Little did we know, that like Vietnam, we were being duped. The weapons of mass destruction were non-existent and we found ourselves in a quagmire that continues even today.

The event that brought us together has been forgotten. Our nation is divided more than it ever was. The world no longer looks to us for leadership. Our government is failing on so many levels. And we have a narcissistic moron in the White House.

Hatred, bigotry, racism, and division are worse than ever. Actually, that is not true. They are simply more obvious and blatant. Fueled by the rhetoric of an ignorant con man, groups and individuals who lurked in the shadows or under rocks have come out in the open. They spew hatred and division as much as they can. People are openly disrespecting each other based on skin color, accent, or for just being different.

Even the definition of what is an American patriot has dissolved into whether or not one kneels for the national anthem. A nation built on debate, compromise, and unity has become a nation of bitterly divided opinion, lack of respect for each other, and unwillingness to compromise. We have forgotten.

September 11, 2001 brought out the best in the people of this nation. It is sad that only a short time after we are seeing the worst.



Why I Play Golf

July 9, 2018


One of the funniest comedy routines I have ever heard is Robin Williams explaining the origins of golf.  If you have never listened to it, take a moment and do, then come back. Even the name Golf is funny. Legend says that originally it meant, Gentlemen Only, Ladies Forbidden. Some believe it came about because all the other four-letter words were taken. If you have ever played, you can relate. The actual origin is a bit more complex and likely came from a word meaning “club”. In any event, to play golf, you need a sense of humor.

There is a story about JC Penney, that when he would interview prospective managers, he would do so over lunch. If they salted their food before tasting it, he would not hire them. If I were to be in a position to hire someone, I would play a round of golf with them. I can think of nothing better as a test of one’s temperament. If you have ever watched the pros play, you have heard four-letter words even from them.

A few years back a friend and I played and being only two they put us with another player. When we got to the third hole, a long par four, it was backed up because someone had a heart attack about halfway down the fairway. The medics were there already. The guy with us starting cussing and telling the people ahead of us to go ahead and tee off, they could just play around the medics. At that point, my friend and I excused ourselves and said we would play another time. Golf can bring out the best or the worst in people.

969070_10151720270399131_1279878903_nGolf requires patience, concentration, honesty, and above all else it is humbling. Over the years I have been lucky enough to have two holes in one, but I have also caught two of my drives off the tee. The first hole in one was the first hole at Sunnyvale Gardens, a par 3, 155 yards. The second at Deep Cliff in Cupertino, a par three, 120 yards. The first drive that I caught was when the ball hit a tree and came straight back, the second hit a fence rail and came back. The point of me telling you this is golf can be rewarding and extremely frustrating.

What I like most about it, is it is an individual sport. Anyone can play it, it is a leveler of differences in age, athletic ability, and gender. People who are good at other sports can either be good or bad at golf. Like any sport, it does take practice, but even then most of us are mediocre at best. Just when you think you have mastered it, you watch your ball disappear into water, or grass so high you will never find it.

Playing eighteen holes usually takes about four hours. That is four hours of being out in fresh air, getting some exercise, and spending time with your spouse and friends. Some people think that golf is expensive. This is only partially true. Yes, you can spend a lot of money on equipment and courses like Pebble Beach, but you can also spend less than say a ski trip to the mountains. And best of all, in California at least, you can play pretty much year round.

The game is a metaphor for life. You do your best, the results are not always good, but no matter where the ball lands, you have the potential of what the next shot will bring. They say golf is eighty percent mental and twenty percent skill. Golf and life are more about one’s attitude than anything else. Both require a positive mindset if you are going to enjoy either.

I started this with Robin Williams and to end, I offer another hilarious view of golf.  The majority of us will never be at the level of Tiger Woods or any of the professional golfers, so all we can do is hope to play bad golf well. Leslie Nielsen made a film about just that.

So keep your head down, count all your strokes, and enjoy life, even if you never play the game of golf.


The Great Tea Adventure!

July 2, 2018

cg49VTy4hZQjJYpFj93W7RU9HJW3YQ_iwVae8j6PHTEiCGMgl2YdCF9xUfZN0DmdgRHK2w=s170To my surprise, after over fifty years of drinking coffee, I was able to kick the coffee habit and switch to green tea. Coffee used to be my kick-start every day. We had an electric pot that I could preset, so that every morning a fresh pot was ready when we got out of bed. My habit was to drink a few cups at home and continue drinking at work until 9 am.

I drank my coffee strong and black, buying ground beans that were a combination of expresso and dark Colombian roast. Guests in our home would always comment on how strong our coffee was. I tried once before to quit, but the intensity of the headaches that followed were too much, I gave in.  This time I weaned myself slowly, decreasing the amount each day until I switched completely to green tea.

5666EB8A-ABC4-E28A-4C90-94D0F94436E6-5278We buy Yogi Pure Green Tea now and I don’t miss coffee. If we go out for breakfast we bring tea bags and the temptation to have coffee has disappeared. While we originally bought our tea at places like Whole Foods, I discovered a better price through Amazon. We could buy six boxes, and being Prime members received our order in two days.

At least that was until my last order. For whatever reason, the order was filled by ProDepot and not direct from Amazon. The order was placed on June 11 and since this was not Prime, the shipping estimate was for the week of the 23rd. This was not a problem as we had a couple boxes left. The week of the 23rd came and went and still no tea. We ran out, but I luckily our local store carries it.  We then received a new estimate of delivery of July 5th.

This was nuts! I contacted the seller and said why is this taking so long, only to get a reply that said that was how I had ordered. What? My first thought was maybe they were making each teabag by hand, handcrafted especially for me in China, boxed in the Philippines, and shipped by row boat into San Francisco where the package would be transferred to a delivery service using bicycles to ride down Highway 1 to our house.

The truth became even stranger. According to the shipping information, the package of green tea was on its way via FedEx from the ProDepot facility in Michigan. Having a tracking number, I was now able to follow the progress of the package and here is where things got weird.

The package supposedly left ProDepot on June 12 but did not arrive at the first shipping point until June 22. The first shipping point was in Livonia, Michigan. Why did it take ten days to start the journey, who knows? Did shipping and receiving at ProDepot print a shipping label and forget to give it to FedEx? Did the employees decide to drink the tea and had to refill the order when the new stock arrived? Did the FedEx driver leave the package on his truck behind his seat under his winter coat he hadn’t used since the last snow? Whatever, this was not the strangest part of the tea’s journey.

The package left Livonia at 10:21 pm on the 22nd and arrived at the next stop at 1:21 am on the 23rd in Perrysburg, Ohio. Now according to Google Maps this is a one hour nineteen minute drive, it took three hours. Maybe Gilligan was driving the truck.

At 8:12 am on the 23rd the package left Perrysburg and arrived in New Berlin, Wisconsin on the 25th at 5:58 pm. I guess the drivers don’t work on the weekends as this is about a five hour drive.

Here is where things get even stranger. Originally, as I tracked this package it left Wisconsin, went back to Illinois, then to Kansas, to Texas, to New Mexico, and finally to California. Why in the world it went back to Illinois, I have no idea. Now, when I look at the history, it shows it left Wisconsin on the 26th, arriving in Sacramento, California on the 29th, and delivered to me on the 30th. Why the history changed from the day to day tracking I have no clue other than to assume it was fake news.

We did receive the package on the 30th at least. So it took nineteen days to get green tea from Michigan to California. Needless to say, I won’t be ordering from ProDepot again and if I do order from Amazon, I will make sure it is coming from them direct and not a secondary source.

What a headache! Almost makes me wish I had a cup of coffee!

Why, Why Did America Die?

June 24, 2018

It doesn’t seem that long ago
Even though it’s hard to remember now
That this country was doing okay.
Things weren’t perfect by any means
Back when I was in my teens
But things have changed since that day.

But January 2017 made us worse
That’s when we came under a curse
Fake news became a reality
Truth and facts a casualty.

I can’t believe things are this bad
To see democracy fall is so sad
One man who constantly lied
Has caused democracy to die.

Oh Why, why did America die?
Drove my Honda to the station
But gas was too high
And fascists were spewing prejudice and lies
Yelling make America white again
This was the day democracy died.

Hypocrites quote the Bible with ease
To justify positions as they please
Taking verses out of context
Ignoring all the rest
They believe God is on their side
But forget why Christ died.

Well, I know it won’t be that long
That Trump-ets will sing a different song
Cause what they fail to remember
Is we will all vote come November.

Teenagers are mobilizing in mass
Signing voters, kicking ass
Politicians no longer get a pass
Maybe democracy doesn’t have to die
But we’re still singin’

Why, why did America die?
Drove my Honda to the station
But gas was too high
And fascists were spewing prejudice and lies
Yelling make America white again
This was the day democracy died.

Now, for two years they have been in control
The hate and division are taking their toll
But, that is not how it needs to be.

The clown is sitting in the Oval Office
Orange and fat, hating all of us
But now it’s up to you and me

While he’s spending time playing golf
Taking way, way too much time off
The voters will return
His kingdom about to burn

He likes to court Putin and Un
And wants us all to march to his tune
But forgets deep inside,
We will not let democracy die
We won’t be singin’

Why, why did America die?
Drove my Honda to the station
But gas was too high
And fascists were spewing prejudice and lies
Yelling make America white again
This was the day democracy died.

He wants a parade in his honor
While affordable healthcare is a goner
But his policies will not last.

More players will refuse to stand
When the anthem is played by the band
Until prejudice is a thing of the past

The classroom was filled with shattered glass
The sound of gunfire, no one had a chance
Valentine’s Day, cancel the dance
The only safe place, out on the grass.

The NRA stood steadfast.
Gun control will never pass
We will keep our guns at all cost
No matter how many lives were lost
And the students started singin’

Why, why did America die?
Drove my Honda to the station
But gas was too high
And fascists were spewing prejudice and lies
Yelling make America white again
This was the day democracy died.

So now we’ve come to this time and place
To ask what will the next generation face
Will democracy live again.

So hickory dickory dock
There is time left on the clock
The lies will come to an end

While he hides in Mar-a-Largo
It is time for him to go
The curtain will fall on his show
Just as winter brings the snow

And while he thought he was flying high
The voters will shoot him out of the sky
And he will crash and burn and that is why
we won’t be singin’

Why, why did America die?
Drove my Honda to the station
But gas was too high
And fascists were spewing prejudice and lies
Yelling make America white again
This was the day democracy died.

The country will no longer sing the blues
and it will be the death of all the fake news
We all can laugh and play.

The people will go to the polls
And will find their names on the rolls
Democracy will be here to stay

And across the land the people cheered
No hate or prejudice appeared
Not an evil word was spoken
No one seen as just a token

And the values we hold so dear
Truth and justice once again were clear
Across the land you could hear
Democracy had not died

The people were singing’
My, my America didn’t die
Drove my Honda to the station
And gas was not high
Fascists no longer spewing hatred and lies
This will be the day
Democracy does not die!

Written by Donald W Grant
(with thanks to Don McLean)

Why The Second Amendment Is Like The Bible

March 27, 2018



“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.”

Amazing how so few words can create such controversy. Often misquoted, misused, and abused, this sentence has caused more confusion and delusion than the Bible. Well, okay, maybe not as much as the Bible, but still a lot. Like the Bible, words are taken out of context, used to defend a particular viewpoint, and open to interpretation. Like the Bible, the Second Amendment’s meaning is layered.

When Bible scholars look at the meaning of a verse or passage, they ask three questions: What does the original say? What did it mean when written? And, What does is mean for us today? This approach could serve interpretations of the Second Amendment as well.

The question of what does the original say is easy as it stands today as written in 1791. It is interesting to note that the first draft said …”to the security of a free Country,“…., and was changed to free State by the insistence of the southern states. The reason being, they did not want government interference in the slave militias; patrols that kept slaves from rebelling and brought runaways back to their owners.

This helps us in interpreting the original intent. The right to bear arms was tied to a well regulated militia. Until 2008, the rulings of the Supreme Court centered around the idea of the militia. Ironically, for the discussions today, the case of United States vs. Miller (1939) stated that a shotgun with a barrel less than eighteen inches was not protected under the Second Amendment saying, “Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment, or that its use could contribute to the common defense.”​

It was in 2008 when things changed. The Supreme Court ruled 5-4 in the case of District of Columbia vs. Heller that, “We start therefore with a strong presumption that the Second Amendment right is exercised individually and belongs to all Americans.”  What was still possible was the right to regulate fire arms in the case of “unusual” weapons, which is what the 1939 case had stated regarding sawed-off shotguns.

Like the Bible, the Second Amendment has been co-opted by the far right. Extreme fundamentalists use a strict interpretation of the Bible, and anyone who disagrees is condemned. Sadly, this rule book approach has done more harm than good. As for the Second Amendment, the group that began as a safety and educational source for the proper use of firearms has become one of the most influential and feared political entities in the country. The NRA went from its roots in 1871 of educating marksmen, to a political juggernaut that can make or break a candidate’s chances of being elected.

Using fear to persuade people believe that any regulation on firearms will lead to the removal of all guns and large amounts of money to line the pockets of lawmakers, the NRA has been successful in thwarting attempts to curb weapons such as assault rifles.

This stand is the same as creationists saying if you don’t believe the world was created in six literal days then you are not a believer. While the Bible describes creation this way, science has proven that there is more to how the world came about than a few verses in Genesis state. Our knowledge has expanded opening up a different interpretation of the process.

In the same way, the availability of military-style weapons to the general public requires a re-examination of the meaning of the Second Amendment. The ideas of background checks, age limits, mental illness and national data bases, banning of assault weapons, banning bump stocks, do not infringe on the right to bear arms. My right to own a handgun or rifle is not thwarted by any of the above.

The real problem is one of dialog. Like gay rights, divorce, or interpretations of the Bible, it is hard to get religious people to agree or even listen to each other. More so with gun advocates and those wanting restrictions. Rather than intelligent conversations, both sides of any of these issues are too quick to resort to name calling or close-mindedness.

Maybe it is just human nature to think one side is right and one side is wrong. While this attitude in regards to the Bible results in heated debate and a plethora of denominations, sects, and cults, this division over the Second Amendment results in lives lost.



I Wasn’t Supposed To Be Left Handed!

February 17, 2018

Fathers often see themselves in their sons. Hoping the son can be what the father wanted but never became. While my dad was good at baseball, he played for recreation. In me, he saw the potential of going beyond the sandlot.

His vision was for me to be a pitcher. He also knew that left handed pitchers have an advantage. They not only have a natural curve, but can throw to first base faster to catch a runner off the bag. So he made sure that I am left handed.

It wasn’t that long ago teachers, parents, and society felt there was something wrong with being left handed and many potential lefties were turned into righties.  After all 85-90 per cent of people are right handed, let’s make the kid go with the flow. Not my dad.

To his dismay, I was terrible at baseball. I have to give him E for effort as he tried his best to turn me into a Sandy Koufax. We would go out on the front lawn and play catch. After warming me up, he would get into a catcher’s stance and tell me to fire away. Some of my pitches were close enough for him to catch, but after about five or six going over his head or left/right, he would throw his glove down and go back in the house.

59635_10151202356794235_1349089457_nStill, he had high hopes. When spring came and I was old enough for little league, he had me try out and even agreed to coach the team. What he forgot to tell me was that pitchers in a real game pitch off a mound. My front yard was flat. None of my try out pitches made it to home plate, unless you discount the first bounce.

Deciding pitching was not my forte’, and being the only left-hander on the team, they put me at first base. The only problem with that is the first basemen needs to be able to catch throws to first. My catching ability was a hair better than my pitching, but after letting too many runners find second base, my days of playing in the infield were over.

So into the outfield I went. Now the outfield is a cool place, you are out there in your area with no one to bother you and you can contemplate the meaning of life. Unfortunately, every once in a while a batter from the opposing team would hit a ball far enough to head my way. If it was on the ground, no problem, my dad had taught me to drop in front if it and not let it shoot through my legs. But at times a good hitter would hit a fly ball high and in my direction.

There must be a gene missing in my DNA, the one that lets your eye track a ball in the air well enough so you have an idea where it is coming down. I could see the ball against the sky and would wait for it to come down, only to find myself about thirty feet from where it landed behind me. Now when I missed a ball playing first, the worst thing was the runner got to second or maybe third. Missing a ball in the outfield, scrambling back to get it, and throwing to the second baseman, usually meant someone would be crossing home plate.

So after my pitching career ended, my first base stint was over, and my outfielding skills were apparent, my dad found a position for me that I could handle. The nice thing about warming the bench was being able to yell at the other team’s pitcher, rattling his cage. Thanks to my dad, and my early training, I have always been really good at rattling cages.

If left alone, would I have been left handed? I will never know. I throw left handed, write, shoot pool, and bowl left-handed. But I bat and golf right-handed. I am left eye  dominant. Give me a pair of scissors and I can’t cut with either hand. So who knows?

One thing I do is write with my left hand like a right-hander. By that I mean I don’t bend my left hand as if I am writing upside down like a lot of left handed people. This is because I learned early on to do the opposite when instructed. So when the teacher said everyone turn your paper so the top is to the left, I went right. Many lefties didn’t and so had to bend their wrists to write across the page. Only problem is my writing is so bad even I have a hard time reading it.

The only time being a leftie was an issue was when I was in the Army. You guessed it. I found myself saluting with my left hand. After being dressed down several times by officers, I did manage to break that habit. They did not like my explanation that if the salute was originally meant to show no weapon in one’s hand, it made sense for me to salute left handed as that is where I would carry a weapon. Even in the Army, I couldn’t help but rattle a few cages.

Was I meant to be left-handed? Who knows. I do know I must be left brained because I hear people say I am not in my right mind.