giant kites in Parksville

Parksville, B.C. hosts one of the top 10 kite festivals in Canada.

Parksville Lions International Kite Festival
Jul 16, 2016 to Jul 17, 2016

Later in the summer I was cycling past surprised to see these monster kites down by the beach as part of no festival whatsoever. If one of these fell on your head, you’d be hurting.

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The Good Wife – season 1

Many friends encouraged me to try this series. I finally got around to it.

Excellent.

The first season of The Good Wife (2009) received outstanding positive acclaim. On Rotten Tomatoes it holds an 85% certified fresh rating based on 20 reviews.

“Along with Julianna Margulies and a fine cast, the gripping drama The Good Wife, boasts hook-heavy plotlines torn from the headlines.”

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Archie Panjabi as Kalinda Sharma is superb.

Did she win an Emmy? NO ... don't tell me. I'm only on Season 1.
Did Archie win an Emmy? NO … don’t tell me. I’m only on Season 1.

The plot lines are tight. Interesting. Entertaining.

I’ll continue on to season 2.

 

Shibumi by Trevanian (1979)

Keith introduced me to Trevanian. He quickly became one of my favourite authors. For some reason I decided to reread his 4th book, my favourite.

Trevanian was a pseudonym for Rodney William Whitaker.

Shibumi is set in the 1970s and details the struggle between the “Mother Company”, a conspiracy of energy companies that secretly controls much of the western world, and a highly skilled assassin, Nicholaï Hel. …

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The novel begins with Hel, retired in his late fifties in a small castle overlooking a village of the Haute-Soule, in the mountainous Northern Basque Country. He is an honorary member of the local Basque population, and his best friend among them is Beñat Le Cagot, a truculent Basque nationalist and bard, with whom he shares an immense love for freedom and an addiction to spelunking. …

It’s a book of philosophy disguised as a James-Bond-like spy novel. I highly recommend it.

Travanian died in 2005 age-74.

satoriTravanian’s daughter and literary executor, Alexandra Whitaker:

When it was first suggested to me that we should allow Trevanian’s characters from Shibumi to be used in a new novel written by someone else, I was not enthusiastic. …

Over the years many readers had expressed the hope that Trevanian would write another novel featuring Nicholai Hel, but he steadfastly refused, uninterested in covering the same ground twice. …

… Trevanian himself had not been against the idea when it was mooted to him some time before his death. While he had no desire to write about Nicholai Hel again himself, he was not hostile to the idea of Nicholai’s coming to life again — but only under certain conditions, of course. The character of Nicholai Hel — the aji of Nicholai Hel — must be respected, and the book must be of a quality that would not disappoint his readers.

The search for a writer began and led swiftly to Don Winslow, a talented thriller writer whose knowledge of the Orient, of military history and martial arts suited him admirably to the task. …

trevanian.com

Satori (2012)

Sadly the only audio version is in German. Someday I may get around to reading the Kindle version.

Forever Country: The Artists of Then, Now, and Forever

I hate Country music. In general. But this new medley is so unique, so weird and futuristic, I couldn’t stop watching.

The collaboration — a medley/mashup of John Denver’s “Take Me Home, Country Roads,” Dolly Parton’s “I Will Always Love You” and Willie Nelson’s “On the Road Again” — was recorded in celebration of the 50th annual CMA Awards …

Click PLAY or watch it on YouTube.

Alabama, Jason Aldean, Dierks Bentley, Brooks & Dunn, Luke Bryan, Eric Church, Brett Eldredge, Vince Gill, Faith Hill, Alan Jackson, Lady Antebellum, Miranda Lambert, Little Big Town, Martina McBride, Tim McGraw, Ronnie Milsap, Kacey Musgraves, Willie Nelson, Brad Paisley, Dolly Parton, Charley Pride, Rascal Flatts, Reba, Darius Rucker, Blake Shelton, George Strait, Randy Travis, Carrie Underwood, Keith Urban and Trisha Yearwood.

Trump empowers the Alt-Right

Do you know Pepe the frog?

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Pepe is a cartoon-strip creature used as a symbol of right wing extremists. Extremists like Drumpf’s son Donald Trump Jr. who proudly shared this image on Instagram.

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Gov. Mike Pence, Gov. Chris Christie, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Dr. Ben Carson, both of Trump’s eldest sons, conspiracy theorist Alex Jones, alt-right icon Milo Yiannopoulos, and Roger Stone.

I first started following American politics because of the Tea Party, a backward, negative, semi-racist and homophobic collection of zealots and hypocrites. Looking back, Michele Bachmann’s antics seem almost laughable.

The Alt-Right is far, far worse.😦

And they’ve come to public attention because an egomaniac psychopath has had success spouting their hateful rhetoric.

In earlier years, the movement — which combines elements of racism, anti-Semitism, and a general preference for nationalist strongmen over the candidates of either party — was mostly confined to the realm of dark web message boards, 4chan, and obscure blogs. About a year ago, they burst onto the scene and established a new home for themselves in Donald Trump’s campaign.

The Alt-Right Gives a Press Conference

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Drumpf wants to be a dictator like Putin

Breitbart News is the most prominent site for the Alt-Right.

The New York Times describes Breitbart News as a “curiosity of the fringe right wing”, with “ideologically driven journalists”, that is a source of controversy “over material that has been called misogynist, xenophobic and racist”, and is now a “potent voice” for Donald J. Trump’s presidential campaign

Drumpf recently named chairman of Breitbart News – Stephen Bannon – his campaign CEO. A nasty man.

I’m depressed for Americans stuck in a nation with so many people willing to support the Alt-Right candidate.😦

If you want to know more click over to Economist magazine

Pepe and the stormtroopers

How Donald Trump ushered a hateful fringe movement into the mainstream