Yesterday's Light

Images in Space and Time

10 Questions for 2016

Old Paria Badlands, near Kanab, Utah

Old Paria Badlands, near Kanab, Utah

For us older dudes, it’s hard to believe that another year has disappeared into the ether. Gone to the same place as the dodo bird and the phone booth.  Just another piece of history.  Not that anyone is likely to miss 2015.  In the overall scheme of things it wasn’t that memorable.  Crazy, perhaps.  And bizarre.  But we didn’t exactly bring peace and happiness and sanity to the world, did we.  More like the opposite.  Again.

So I have some questions.  About 2016, that is.  Chances are that no one else gives a damn about my questions, but I’m going to throw them out there anyway.  Just because they’re bugging the hell out of me (and I have little else to do).

#10.  Will Fox News continue to shorten the dresses of their female news people so that us old farts can more easily see their undies?

(Not that I watch Fox News all that much.  But it can be amusing.  Especially around noon when I’m getting really bored.  That’s when I can watch the 4 airheads on “Outnumbered” who seem to be trying to see which one of them can wear the shortest dress and put on the most makeup.  If it was me, I’d call the show “4 Hookers on a Couch”.)

#9.  Will the northeastern United States ever get any real snow this winter?

(Not that I’m complaining.  We had enough last year to cover the next decade.  For us, El Nino’s been a good thing.  But it seems kind of weird.  You actually feel a little guilty about it, like you’re cheating Mother Nature or something.)

#8.  Will Death Valley actually have a “once-in-a-millennium” wild flower eruption this spring?

(This one is important to me.  If I’m going to drive 6,000 miles or so – again – I’d like to think that the flower prediction will come true.  A silly wish, I know, but hey, I’m not getting any younger……)

#7.  Will gas prices continue to drop, or at least stay where they are? 

(Yeah, I know.  Another selfish question.  But 6,000 miles at $2.00 a gallon is a whole lot better than 6,000 miles at $3.00 a gallon.)

#6.  Will the Cleveland Browns ever become a real football team again?

(Admitting you’re a Cleveland Browns fan is tantamount to admitting that you’re a loser.  Because that’s all they do.)

#5.  Will Donald Trump win the Republican nomination for President?  Can he actually become President?

(Well, we’ve all been wrong about him up to this point, so why not?  He’s riding some kind of populist wave that the political experts apparently don’t understand.  If he does go all the way I’ll make this prediction: the Trump-led U. S. government will merge with Barnum and Bailey and truly become the greatest show on earth.)

#4.  Will Hillary become the first woman President?

(I’ll vote for her if she wins the Democratic nomination and Trump or Cruz is her opponent, but I’d honestly rather have another choice.  Like Jeb, I think her time has passed.)

#3.  Are all those people who are texting while driving really trying to kill me?

(Really, are they?  Somebody has to invent a smartphone that sends a lethal jolt of electricity through the user if they try to operate the phone while driving.  You gotta admit, it would be fun to watch.  By the way, if you believe in multitasking, you’re an idiot.)

#2.  As a species, are we getting dumber or smarter?

(See question #3.)

#1.  Who’s Rey?

(This is the real question.  The first 9 don’t really count.  If someone could answer this one – correctly – I’d probably pay real money for the answer.  If you don’t understand the question, then you’ve been living under a rock somewhere……)


10 Responses to “10 Questions for 2016”

  1. Invisible Mikey

    I love being asked blog post questions! It makes me feel like I’m influential enough to be holding a press conference, an amusing fantasy. Of course I don’t know all the answers. I have no sports gene, and my version of weather prediction is to go outside and look up. Here are some remaining guesses:

    Some technologies can trigger addictive behavior. The driving texters are like drunk drivers. Drunk drivers aren’t trying to kill people. They’re trying to keep drinking, and the need to go to other places is in the way. It has nothing to do with our evolution/devolution as a species. All mammals carry a capacity for addictions.

    Trump is more likely than not to win the GOP nomination. It’s ironic that exactly the same qualities that make him a GOP winner make him the easiest candidate to beat for either Mrs. Clinton or Sen. Sanders. He’s got no real policies, being the fascist ideal (I’m the solution to all problems), and it will lead to a Goldwater-style general election loss.

    And Rey is (probably) Luke Skywalker’s love child. These “powers” do run in families.

    • Paul Maxim

      For the most part I agree with you on “addictive behavior”. But I also think that addictive technology (like smartphones) is a primary variable in our evolutionary process. As a species, we are becoming less self-sufficient, less capable of adapting to a changing world. Thinking is becoming obsolete.

      I used to think that Trump would be easy to beat in a general. Like you, I figured it would be another Goldwater type election. Now I’m not so sure. And that’s a very scary thought……

      Yes, there’s lots of clues that say Rey is Luke’s daughter. The big one is the “behavior” of the lightsaber. And of course the nature of Rey’s Vision. Plus, she’s obviously been trained (although she doesn’t remember it) to use the Force. But maybe it’s just a little too obvious. There’s another popular theory that she’s Ben Kenobi’s granddaughter. But who knows? All I know is that I’m getting too old to have to wait almost a year and a half for the next movie! Heaven help me if I don’t know the answer after that one…….

      Great to hear from you Mikey!

  2. TomDills

    10: Isn’t that about the only reason to watch Faux News – with the sound off?
    9: Check with me tomorrow
    8: Only if you don’t go
    7: Someone is bound to do something stupid in the Middle East. But until then, yes
    6: The Cleveland Browns have never been a real football team
    5: The scary thing is that it’s all the other choices that make him look good
    4: See #5
    3: They don’t know that you exist, which is scarier
    2: Yes
    1: I like my rock…leave me alone

    • Paul Maxim

      All great answers, Tom (except maybe for the last one!). Just a few quibbles, though:

      Actually, the short skirts do nothing for me (#10). It’s too late to turn the sound off. I’ve heard them already. I completely agree with Freedom of Speech, but what comes out of their mouths is 99% pure fiction. They could be totally naked and it wouldn’t turn me on……..

      I’ve got our reservations for early March (#8). You only live once, right?

      Oh yes they were (#6). When I was a kid the Browns were always one of the best teams. Of course that now qualifies as ancient history. And I saw this morning that they just hired yet another new head coach. Whoopee.

      Not a “valid” answer, Tom. 10 points off! Unless, of course, you think it’s exactly 50-50. Which is (almost) statistically impossible. Personally, I think it’s about 80-20. 80% of the population is “dumber”, while 20% is “smarter”. Eventually, “dumb” wins.

      Uh-oh. I’ve found a non-Star Wars person. Very sad. Getting wrapped up in the Star Wars universe allows us to stop thinking about our own. And in the Star Wars universe there’s hope that the good guys win. Tough to say that about ours. Hell, it’s tough to say that there are any good guys in ours.

  3. John

    I will only respond to #3… I just heard one of the car companies has a feature where you can’t turn-on the radio until you fasten your seat belt. Doesn’t solve your problem but that kind of creative solution is a step in the right direction.

    • Paul Maxim

      Hey, John. Yes, I think I heard that, too. But “stepwise”, not such a big deal. Even if we’re just talking about radio distraction it won’t have much of an effect. Yeah, the driver might be a little safer in a collision (because his / her seat belt is fastened), but it won’t do anything to stop the accident from happening. I honestly don’t know how you do that. Whether you’re driving drunk or playing with the radio or texting or trying to eat your lunch on the fly, it’s a serious distraction. And distracted drivers kill.

  4. Cedric Canard

    I sure hope #8 comes off for you Paul, I’d like to see the photos of a once-in-a-millenium event. As for the rest I can’t help you I’m sorry to say.

    • Paul Maxim

      This one could get a little strange, Cedric. A while back I found a website that regularly reports on wildflower activity in Death Valley (even in the winter months). Right now they’re just a little befuddled because “Spring” seems to have arrived. There are flowers all over the place. They’re at least a month early. Hopefully, it’ll be a long wildflower season. If they get a little more rain, and if it doesn’t turn hot too soon, that could very well happen. I hope so. In any case, early March in Death Valley should be a lot better than early March in western NY.

  5. E. Brooks

    Paul, I’m only surprised by the fact that you were able to limit your questions to only 10. Bonnie and I sometimes bounce similar crazy questions back and forth with each other with the only answers being perhaps slightly demented laughter. Doesn’t take much to entertain us and with our travels, we’re constantly exposed to new material and new questions.

    • Paul Maxim

      I know what you mean, Brooks. One of the fun things about traveling is seeing things that make you ask questions. Although right now those kinds of questions are being “trumped” – pun intended – by the absolute insanity of American politics. As the saying goes, you can’t make this stuff up. So I can’t wait to hit the road again where we’ll rediscover questions that are a bit more rational. And where watching the news or even reading a paper is something I’ll rarely do. The desert is far more interesting (and less dangerous?) than Donald Trump or Ted Cruz………


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