Happy New Year!
What a start to 2017, with so much rain that it looks like at least Northern California is out of the drought. The power stayed on at the office, which is a good thing or you wouldn’t have this issue of the KP in your hands in a timely manner at all. There was moderate flooding and few trees came down, but so far we have no news of anything dire in our part of the county.
“News.” The word has been in the news a lot lately – fake news, opinion disguised as news, and my favorite, “Breaking News!” I’m kind of a dinosaur when it comes to getting the news of the day. I still read actual newspapers, with actual reporters and editors – the Press Democrat, the San Francisco Chronicle, the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Saratoga Sun (that’s Saratoga, Wyoming, by the way), and I still watch network news on television. I’m not on Facebook or Twitter, although everyone around me is so I absorb some things via osmosis – I know what a meme is.
It’s so obvious who the target audience is for television news – people who need lots and lots of meds, i.e., aging baby boomers and older. Maybe that’s why every time I turn on the TV there’s a teaser for “Breaking News!” It’s still raining! Donald Trump tweeted…anything! Golden Globes on tonight! Please, we’re desperate for you to watch our news broadcast!
One thing I love about this job of gathering news is that you do “learn something new every day.” Just yesterday I had to look up Senate bean soup, the meal on offer at Bingo at Star of the Valley next Wednesday. It’s “a soup made with navy beans, ham hocks, and onion. It is served in the dining room of the United States Senate every day, in a tradition that dates back to the early 20th century.” That’s according to Wikipedia. Who knew?
The dictionary defines “new” as both a time and a condition. Something that’s never been before, like a new day. Or something that’s starting over, like a new political era. Or something that’s recently arrived, like a new neighbor. Or something that’s fresh, like a new coat of paint.
So keep your eyes and ears open for the new, every day. And keep your mind open for the news, especially the news that you don’t want to hear. Are you a fan of government programs? Try going to a meeting of the Sonoma County Taxpayers Association. Listen to their perspective. Did you vote for Hillary? Try to find someone who didn’t and ask them why.
I had a conversation over the holidays with a man in the oil exploration business, and he did not believe that it was possible to zero out your electrical bill without having a prohibitively expensive number of solar panels. But he was forgetting that we live in Northern California and don’t have air conditioning. (He lives in Texas.) Maybe this very nice man will now be more open to the validity of alternative energy sources, who knows? All I know is that we have to have the conversations or we’ll never learn anything new.
Breaking news: We’re all in this together.