Leslie Cook

Archive for the ‘Random Thoughts’ Category

Week 4

In In My Opinion..., Politics, Random Thoughts, Trump Apocalypse on February 16, 2017 at 10:55 am


This is the 4th week of  45’s administration and here’s where we stand:

  • Andrew Puzder withdrew from his nomination as Secretary of Labor because of growing Republican concern over his past employment of an undocumented housekeeper. Also of concern are his business practices and personal problems including possible domestic abuse.
  • Michael Flynn, White House National Security Adviser resigns due to alleged conversations with the Russian ambassador in December about sanctions against Russia. 45 and his staff knew about this issue for 2 weeks. Pence learned about it a few days ago.
  • 45 conducted an impromptu national security meeting in the open air at Mar-a-Lago in front of Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe and a room full of diners.
  • 45 executed a raid on Yemen. The result? 1 American soldier dead, 26 civilians dead, target not obtained.
  • 45 sends the country into turmoil over his Executive Order concerning immigration. The consensus is that it was badly written and not well executed. Immigration was not briefed. Congress was not briefed. The reason? He didn’t want to give the bad guys a heads-up. The result? Chaos.
  • A Russian spy ship is sitting in international waters off of the coast of Connecticut.
  • Russia deploys a new cruise missile that American officials say violate a landmark arms control treaty. The response from 45’s administration? Silence.
  • North Korea test-fires a ballistic missile that travels 320 miles from North Pyongan Province to the Sea of Japan.
  • Leaks out of the White House and the executive branch of our government are at an all-time high.

I could go on. I suppose 45 is using a new business technique to manage his government. I suspect that he’s in over his head and doesn’t know what to do about it. It feels like we’re watching a slow-speed train heading for a brick wall and the conductor is looking down trying to figure out what wine goes with his nachos.

Republicans were worried that Hillary wouldn’t be able to handle the office of President without drama. I wonder how they’re feeling now?



Trade Wars

In In My Opinion..., Random Thoughts, Trump Apocalypse on January 27, 2017 at 2:30 pm

ship4It appears that we’re entering a time where the United States of America will be participating in a trade war with the world. The current U.S. President wants to impose a 20% tax on goods entering the country from Mexico. This tax will pay for his border wall so that we don’t have to.

If we assume that Mr. Trump paid attention when he attended the Wharton School of Business, we must conclude that he’s intentionally lying to us about not paying for his pet project. Why? Because anyone with a brain knows that any tax imposed on Mexico or any other countries’ goods will be passed on to the consumer. If this is true, Americans will be paying for his wall. It’s simple economics.

What are the implications of this tax? Since Mexico is our 3rd largest trade partner, here’s a short list of the things that will increase in price if and when the current administration follows through on their plans:

  • Fruits and Vegetables: Mexico is the largest supplier of fruits and vegetables to the U.S. Say bye bye to your favorite guacamole.
  • Alcohol: The price of Tequila and Cerveza will increase. This alone should make Trump voters very, very angry.
  • Cars prices: Want to pay extra for your new General Motors, Ford, Chrysler, Volkswagen, Nissan, Honda, BMW, Toyota, Volvo and Mercedes-Benz vehicle? They all have factories in Mexico. If a tax is imposed, they will pass it along.

Buckle up America! Mexico may be the beginning, but our current administration will surely look toward China in the next few weeks. And since we’ve backed out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership, trade with other Asian countries will also be strained. Yes, America will start buying U.S goods out of necessity. And we will begin to pay more for everything, leaving us with less disposable cash.

Yes, America will start buying U.S goods out of necessity. And we will begin to pay more for everything, leaving us with less disposable cash. Yes more people will be employed. But given the fact that Republicans don’t want to increase the minimum wage, those workers will be making less money working in those new jobs and spending more money for goods and services.

Of course, this is just a prediction. I’m not an economist. But neither is our new President.





Illegal Voting

In In My Opinion..., Random Thoughts, Trump Apocalypse on January 25, 2017 at 7:11 am

screen-shot-2016-09-01-at-6-11-54-pmThere’s a certain man that won the electoral vote and believes that he would have won the popular vote if not for those pesky illegal voters. He told Congress that
3 – 5 million people voted illegally in November and I assume he thinks those illegal votes all went to Hillary, depriving him of the landslide that he thinks he deserves.

Where do I start with this story? I’m sure there are better things for this person to do with his time. As his boss, I’d love to gently suggest that he concentrate on the work of the country, not on the work of stroking his ego. That said, I personally would welcome any evidence that he or his cronies have about illegal voting. Let’s see all that evidence that he seems to be hiding.

He tweeted that he wants an investigation into voter fraud. As an American citizen, I would welcome an investigation too! Even though it may be a vast waste of taxpayer dollars, we need to settle these rumblings about widespread voter fraud once and for all. Republicans are denying citizens access to the voting booth because of their belief in widespread voter fraud. The current president thinks that he didn’t win the popular vote because of this supposed fraud. And yet the National Association of Secretaries of State, which represents many of the country’s state elections officials, said in a statement on Tuesday: “We are not aware of any evidence that supports the voter fraud claims made by President Trump…”

So let’s call his bluff and investigate. We may find out that there is widespread voter fraud. We may also find that the voter fraud invalidates his presidency. Who knows. Let’s settle the question and deal with the fallout.


Are We Great Yet?

In In My Opinion..., Random Thoughts, Trump Apocalypse on January 22, 2017 at 9:23 am

It’s been 48 hours since The Donald took office. For those who thought that his rhetoric was just a joke, I point to his first acts as President:

  • The President reversed planned cuts to interest premiums on FHA mortgages. Those planned cuts would have reduced mortgages of eligible homeowners by approximately $500 per year. I hope none of his supporters want to own or keep their homes.
  • Whitehouse.gov has been redone: Pages on climate change, LGBT issues, civil rights, and health care, have been replaced with pages on an “America First Energy Plan,” “America First Foreign Policy,” “Bringing Back Jobs and Growth,” and “Standing Up For Our Law Enforcement Community.” I suppose this is normal for any incoming administration but it does not bode well for anyone that believes in these issues.
  • The Department of Justice “postponed” a hearing that challenged the voter ID laws in Texas. The department was scheduled to argue that the state law intentionally discriminated against Latino and African-American voters. The DOJ also delayed an initial hearing on police reform in Baltimore.
  • And of course, he signed an executive action to “minimize the economic burden” of key provisions of the Affordable Care Act pending its repeal. Of course no one knows what that means since the administration doesn’t want to explain the order.

Amid all of that action. The Donald had time to comment on the size of his inauguration crowd as it compared to Obama’s inauguration crowd (because apparently size matters). You decide:


Who do you want to believe, Trump or your lying eyes? Trumps Press Secretary, Sean Spicer, was also a little upset about the truth and decided to chastise the press about their fair reporting. He then left without taking questions. Nothing like transparency in office.

Welcome to Trumps America!



Let’s Play Trump Bingo!

In In My Opinion..., Random Thoughts, Trump Apocalypse on January 19, 2017 at 6:07 am

It’s almost time for the peaceful transition of power here in the U.S of A. As an American citizen, I’m cherishing every last moment of Obama’s presidency and dreading the coming apocalypse.

Over the past week, I’ve been trying to think of ways to get through the next few years and I’ve come up with a solution…Trump Bingo!

That’s right, Trump Bingo. If I have to listen to Trump make excuses for why he can’t fulfill his promises to his adoring constituency, I’m going to make a game of it. So, for your viewing pleasure, here’s the first of many Bingo cards to help play the Trump game. This is the Trump Excuses Bingo card.


If you have ideas for additional Bingo cards, let me know. Here are a few ideas I’m kicking around:

  • The “I Love Women”
  • The “Tax Return” Edition
  • The “Some People Say” Edition
  • The “Putin is Perfect” Edition


Quick Take

In Random Thoughts on November 14, 2016 at 7:50 am

I watched this on Sunday and cried like a baby.  It was a beautiful tribute to Leonard Cohen and to Hillary Clinton.

Election Week Cold Open – SNL Kate McKinnon


Here Be Dragons: My Trip to the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles

In My Favorite Things, Random Thoughts on September 8, 2011 at 6:48 am

If you’re like me and grew up in the Los Angeles area, you’ll remember those wonderful school trips to the Natural History Museum (NHM). Once a year, we’d board our school buses and head off toward Exposition Park, bound for a day of learning. Mostly it was a day away from school, which was always welcome. I was always overwhelmed by the giant bones of modern and ancient creatures, and by the ancient man displays. The Neanderthal display always looked a little dusty and molted, but it was still fun to see.

This week, I returned to the NHM for the first time in years. They’ve done an amazing job of redoing the museum and are still in the process of building. We took a look at the future plans and if they complete them, the NHM should be a world-class museum. The new Dinosaur Hall was opened in July and it’s beautiful. Along with the dinosaur bones that were on display for years, they’ve added some new ones, specifically Thomas the T. rex. And, even with the older bones, they’ve changed their positioning, based on current research on how the various species walked and hunted. They’ve added interactive displays, video of digs and current dinosaur science, and they’ve updated the explanations presented in front of the exhibits.. Norm and I spent a few hours wandering around the new exhibit and I, for one, was very impressed. The place was packed with adults and children marveling at the giant creatures. I spent some time looking down on them from above, wondering what they’d be like with skin and bones, chasing me through the grasslands. Scary!

The great thing about NHM is that they have free days, which Norm and I took advantage of. To find out what those days are, check their website (http://www.nhm.org/, but, when I last checked, each Tuesday in September is free, saving you the $12.00 adult admission. Even if you do have to pay, it’s well worth the price.

The Joys of Unemployment

In In My Opinion..., Random Thoughts, Unemployment on July 12, 2011 at 7:22 pm

This morning at about 8:00am, I found myself slipping into a realm that I’ve never visited before.  Oh it started simply enough.  I was called downstairs from my office by my boss.  Yes, whenever he calls to say “Can you meet me in my office?” it always makes me nervous.  But for the past 11 years, his calls were usually precursors to additional work or new exciting projects. Not so today.

I trotted down the two floors to his office and was about to make the right-turn to go through his door when I noticed that he wasn’t in is office but was down the hall beckoning me toward him.  He asked me to follow, and I did.  Did I sense that something was up?  Yes.  But what can you do.  It’s just not cool to turn tail and run.

As he guided me into the office, I noticed someone behind the desk that I’d only seen once.  He introduced himself as the company lawyer.  Yike, I thought…what have I done that calls for a lawyer?  Turns out, I didn’t do anything.  My boss took a set for a few seconds as the lawyer slowly explained that the company was experiencing a downturn.  That’s when my stomach sank.  I’ve never been through this before.  This is something I’ve heard about from others but never experienced for my self.  The layoff notice.

My boss left, only to return with a box of Kleenex.  I’m proud to say that I didn’t use them.  I’m not sure why.  I am honestly the biggest crier I know, but for some reason, I didn’t cry this time.  Maybe I was in shock. Maybe it was just pride, but I made it through the legal reading of my unemployed rights like a champ.

Once the ins and outs of my departure contract were explained, I should the lawyers hand, said it was a pleasure to meet him and I left the office. If you’ve ever left a software company, this is how it goes…they escort you to your desk where you can take a few items, then they walk you out of the building.  Clean.  Simple.  I was lucky.  It was early in the morning and not many had arrived yet so I didn’t have to do the perp walk.

So here I sit, unemployed for the first time since my dad died 32 years ago.  Maybe I’m still in shock, but for some reason I’m not that scared.  Norm and I have planned for the contingency that one of us might be unemployed at some point in our marriage.  We hoped that both of us wouldn’t be unemployed at the same time, but sometimes, no matter how much you hope, the thing you don’t want to happen does.

I’m sad, and excited, and kind of nervous about what I’ll do with myself until my next opportunity comes along.  One thing I do know for sure is that we’ll both be fine.  Sometimes one one door closes another one opens.  And sometimes we need a rest from the rat race.  I intend to take full advantage of this respite to explore the city, do the things that I’ve been putting off for so long (like the long awaited garage cleaning), and generally to get to know myself a little better.

As of today, a new adventure begins!

What I’ve Been Up To

In Arts and Crafts, Random Thoughts on June 22, 2011 at 7:54 pm

I haven’t posted anything here for about 8 months. I’m not sure why I stopped. Nothing to say? No time to say it? I’m not sure, but, once again, I have a craving to communicate, if only to myself, about what’s going on in my life. What have I been up to the past few months? Well, I’ve been doing arts and crafts:

Baking a bit:

Traveling some:

Keeping busy. Happy 2nd day of Summer!

Happy Birthday John

In Random Thoughts on October 9, 2010 at 3:43 pm

It’s hard for me to believe that John Lennon would have been 70 years old today. I remember the first time I saw John and the other 3 Beatles. My cousin and I were sitting in front of the television watching Ed Sullivan and screaming…god knows why. I think I was just following the lead of my older cousin. After all, I was only 5 years old. I’ll always be grateful to my cousin for letting me scream with her because it began my life-long love of The Beatles. John was everyone’s favorite. Well, he and Paul. I was more of a George Harrison fan, but I always loved to listen to John sound off against the press. He was always smart and funny. As I grew up, his music became more complex, and more interesting. At the time, we were never sure who wrote which song in the Beatles repertoire. They were always billed as Lennon/McCartney tunes. My friends and I speculated and eventually we found out what the origins of songs like Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds were. Paul was usually more melodic; John’s songs were edgy. We loved all of them.

In December of 1980, I remember a movie I was watching being interrupted by a report that John had been shot. Soon after we learned that John was dead. I took it hard. At the time, my father was in the hospital with what we would soon learn was lung cancer, so John’s death has always been connected with my father’s decline in health and death. I cried more than I should have in the days following John’s death.  It was as if a friend had died. And now, I remember John as a complicated person, an inspiration, a bringer of joy. He asked us to image people living in peace. He fought against an unjust war. And today, as I send up a prayer, I wonder what he would say about the world we live in today. I’m sure it would be something funny and inspirational.

Happy birthday John.