Road Trip After-Action Report

We’re back from a weekend in Las Vegas; in addition to visiting with our son, daughter-in-law, and grandchildren, we picked up a used car from an old friend who wanted to help our daughter Polly out. We and our two dogs drove up together Friday; Monday we drove home in separate cars, one dog riding shotgun in each.

The weekend encompassed Mother’s Day, and Donna had a great one, well deserved. Besides getting to visit the kids, she went out with Beth and Taylor for a manicure and pedicure, topping it off with high tea at a health spa (where they were attacked by a flying patio umbrella, saved only by granddaughter Taylor’s quick reflexes). Gregory and I, meanwhile, took our old friend out to breakfast, then drove the donated car straight to Big O Tires, where it got new rubber and brakes (no such thing as a free car!), then on to Terrible Herbst for a thorough cleaning. Donna said it drove fine on the way home to Tucson, which included freeway speeds up to 80 mph.

Some family photos from the weekend:

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Beth, Gregory, me, Donna

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Our granddaughter Taylor

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Gregory with Polly’s new car

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Three generations: me, Quentin, Gregory

And a few more:

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Admiring my son’s ride

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I raised a smoker, it seems

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Mr. B trying to de-stress

One of our dogs, Maxie, is a Las Vegas veteran, having made the trip several times now. Mr. B, who loves nothing more than riding around town in the truck with me, now has two eight-hour rides under his belt, and I’m delighted to say he’s a good traveler.

He seemed a little stressed over staying in a strange house with other dogs, though. He followed me around Gregory’s house, never leaving my side lest I abandon him there. When I sat on the couch he’d snuggle against my leg so he’d wake up if I made a move. Poor guy. I’m sure that comes from having his first human up & die on him.


Driving home yesterday I kept the radio on Sirius, listening to music, and didn’t check NPR until almost home. That’s when I heard American and Israeli spokesmen blaming Palestinians for killing and injuring themselves by standing in the way of IDF bullets, and how sorry we should feel for the Israeli troops who were forced to shoot them. I listened to Jared Kushner, speaking at the opening of the new US embassy in Jerusalem, describe the dead and wounded—many of them children—as “part of the problem, not the solution.”

It reminded me of all the other times pursed-lip white authority figures have made similar pronouncements over the bodies of unionists, civil rights marchers, slain black people whose only crime was minding their own business when a cop happened to be around, Native Americans who resisted having what little bit of land they had left taken from them for the oil, and a million plus Iraqis murdered for no fucking reason other than George W. Bush wanting to show up his father, and I just want to ask The Man if anything is ever his fault. It’s a broken record; he trots out the same blame-the-victims rhetoric every goddamn time.

No, I don’t have anything enlightened to say about Israel and the Palestinians. Sorry if you were hoping I was leading up to a solution. Not sure there is one.


A guy I haven’t seen in years befriended me this morning on Facebook. The first post of his I saw was an approving link to that New York Times op-ed everyone is making fun of, the one that blames liberals for making Trump’s base deplorable by calling them out on their deplorableness, implicitly arguing they’re only that way out of spite. As if they weren’t a bunch of know-nothing incestuous racists before.

So I commented: “If only someone hadn’t told young Hitler his ideas about Jews were deplorable, the Holocaust would never have happened.” His response? “Bolshevism and Natural Socialism are the two left feet of the far left!”

Natural Socialism? I don’t think this particular Facebook friendship is going to keep on truckin’.

See what I did there?

© 2018, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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