It was hard enough to wrap the mind around the shortage of infant formula, and how a recall and recall-caused shortage which began months ago, only blew up in our National Establishment Media, and by extension, the current administration in the last week or so. I suppose that if you aren’t living in a household with a baby present, it was easy enough to miss out on the whole tense business of – will there be formula on the shelves – how many cans can we get – and what on earth do we do if we run out? It didn’t help that sanctimonious cows like Bette Midler and divers others began smugly suggesting that mothers breast-feed, once the matter bubbled to the surface of the national conscience. Why thank you for that heaping helping of the screamingly obvious – it had somehow managed to escape our notice. Now that the National Establishment Media is belatedly interested in the matter, we discover that the contamination in question which kicked off closure of the manufacturing location likely originated elsewhere than the factory. We also discover that the FDA dragged their feet on approval to re-open. Huh. Imagine that. A low priority for the inspectors, or a deliberate attempt to add just that much more of a ration of misery to our lives, now that gas is over $4 a gallon in Texas where it comes straight from the cow, and higher yet in other less fortunate localities.
This last weekend, I actually went out of my house/neighborhood and did something different. Something interesting and out in the real world, or something that resembled the real world, out there, beyond the keyboard and computer screen. I had a table for my books at a cultural event, the Folkfest in New Braunfels. Historically, New Braunfels was one of the German Verein-founded towns in the Texas Hill Country, one of those that I have written about in my historical series; the main reason that I was invited to the bash under the oak trees at the Heritage Society’s campus on the northern edge of town. The Adelsverein Trilogy touches on the circumstances and reason why more than eight thousand German immigrants ended up on the wild and unsettled Texas frontier in the 1840s. A consortium of German noblemen and princes hoped to make a tidy profit – and to do a good deed for their struggling countrymen – by taking up an entrepreneur grant in the independent Republic of Texas. They were honest in their hope to make the venture advantageous economically for them, which distinguishes them from many other ostensibly charitable enterprises of late. That the Adelsverein went broke within two years had more to do with the princely gentlemen overselling their program to eager potential immigrants and badly underestimating the costs in transporting them to Texas. That it resulted in a godly number of able, educated, independent-minded and patriotic new citizens turned out to be a bonus. It also resulted in Kendal, Gillespie and Comal counties being almost completely German-speaking for better than a hundred years, which explained the prevalence of dirndls and lederhosen worn with cowboy boots at the Folkfest.
A marked increase in the number of rude, rotten, and outright dangerous drivers is a local thing that my daughter and I, and a scattering of friends have noticed over the last several months. It has been, as my daughter noted, an increased number of Third World drivers, on our local roads. A lot of near-misses, carelessness in lane-changing, ignorance of use of the turn indicators, and a fair amount of road rage… including a shooting on a stretch of the IH-35 on the South Side of the city. While the South Side is largely and traditionally Hispanic, and has neighborhoods in it which have a reputation for being violent, especially after dark, I used to drive clear across town on my daily commute, from the largely Anglo, or white north-east side of town, to the Southside, and I often noticed that the drivers on the South side were a hell of a lot more courteous about allowing merges and lane changes on the IH-35.
So it appears that we are to have a new federal holiday – that day, following on the final defeat of the Confederacy that slaves in Texas were informed by the arriving Union troops that they were now free. I think it’s marvelous, noting the day when the last slaves in a Confederate state were notified by Republicans that they were no longer slaves.
With apologies to Wm. Shakespeare…
The Daughter Unit and I, with Wee Jamie the Grandson Unit, made a road trip last Saturday – a completely enjoyable outing, even with the necessity of stopping several times to change Wee Jamie’s diapers on the hour-and a half drive to Kingsland on the Llano and Colorado Rivers. He slept for the most part, and excited the admiration of many, who noted the Overwhelming Cuteness of Wee Jamie. His eyes actually opened once or twice during these occasions.
We had an appointment for a presentation ceremony at the American Legion post in Kingsland for me to be presented with a quilt; the ladies of this organization have been working for several years on a project to present a patriotic-themed quilt to every military veteran who can be identified and nominated for one.