Apr. 26th, 2017

mtbc: maze F (cyan-black)
At the moment the weather is fairly pleasant: mild, barely a breeze, some sunshine and some clouds. Children play outdoors, including one young fellow on a large tricycle device. The weather has been significantly variable lately: on Sunday we were all out doing gardening and seeing how nice the tree blossom is. The growth on the tree is always a relief for me because it means that my pruning months earlier didn't kill part of what remained. I even dug my sandals out from a box in the garage. Then, yesterday morning there was ice on the car windshield when I was to leave for work and colleagues came in with tales of sleet and snow. It also developed great windiness, even blowing over rather more items than strong wind typically does, though at least the barbecue did not leave the deck.

One thing that I much enjoyed in central Ohio was clear seasons with predictable weather. I could plan ahead well on both a short and a longer timescale, the exceptions being excitingly extreme weather that I also appreciated. Climate change may reduce predictability but I retain hope that on returning the US I can again find somewhere with more anticipatable seasons. Nearer the coast there were a few more surprises: for instance, in Boston when we had heavy snowfall around Hallowe'en.
mtbc: maze N (blue-white)
Theresa May, the Prime Minister and leader of the UK's Conservative Party, seems keen on selling June's general election as an opportunity to vote in plenty of Conservative MPs such that she can have weight behind her in negotiating with the European Union the terms of the UK's departure and trade deals with other countries.

Electorally, the choice is an interesting one. The Conservatives actually give me more pause on other issues such as civil liberties, renewable energy and welfare funding. It's that first issue that has me keep half an eye on the Liberal Democrats except they don't seem to care a lot either given how little they mention it; in any case they have paled into insignificance since their disastrous coalition. I like how Labour seem in favor of spending on healthcare and schools rather than pursuing more privatization and tax cuts but the party is a divided shambles whose leader Jeremy Corbyn was recently even doubting the committing of British forces to NATO's deployment in the Baltic. Regular readers already know in what little esteem I hold the Scottish National Party.

I do always vote. It does however seem usual that the choice requires research and often a little nose-holding. I still have to read through the campaign materials for next month's local elections too. When I can't stomach any of the main parties I have been known to cast an encouraging vote for one of the others but quite rarely.

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Mark T. B. Carroll

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