A new Russian import in our language: kompromat - "the Russian term for compromising materials about a politician or other public figure. Such materials can be used to create negative publicity, for blackmail, or for ensuring loyalty." This has been focused on in a big way these couple of days, because there are media reports that the Russians have some pretty demeaning stuff on Trump, in particular, that he likes women pissing on him. It's such a crazy political season that it is not entirely implausible, but we are talking about the marginal media and there is zero substantiation. It's the kind of stuff that the Right has been passing on forever, going back to Bill Clinton's administration. It just looks like the Left is getting in on that game to influence public opinion. Maybe they should have started sooner, but who could have thought that Trump had any real chance of winning? ... ... The Elvis cards came in today. The pictures are nice, but they really aren't made for your serious card player. The cards don't have a good, durable feel about them, and you cannot very conveniently read the rank & suit of a card, which is rather important. Twenty dollars, too. This comes when I have also realized that I really do favor the Italian cards over the Bicycle decks. (Thinking of how the Italians also distinguish themselves in sports cars, it seems that they specialize in the instruments of vice.) Moreover, My nudie cards are starting to fall apart, so that I want to retire them. Therefore, despite having ten decks of cards on hand, I really only want to play with two of them. And I feel as though I have been spending my meager money like a drunken sailor, albeit only on cards rather than tasty whores. I feel as though I need - 'need' not want - another pair of Italian decks, but now I am sorely behind the financial eight-ball. I have to get a puzzle next. To be sure, I can make do on the cards I have for a few weeks more, but it bugs me, like an itch I cannot quite scratch away. ... Pi says, "Can playing Solitaire make one a serious card player?" Why, does one have to play for money for a game to be serious? "Just saying. It sounds funny to call yourself a serious card player, when you just play Solitaire all the time. It doesn't sound quite right, know what I mean?" I play for keeps. "With what?" My soul. "So, if you lose, you lose your soul to the devil." Oh, no, I'm afraid I lost that a long time ago. It's not about winning or losing. I've already lost. It's just about trying to enjoy and savor a few moments while one can. "LOL You're so very serious." I told you I was serious! It's not like when you are in your twenties and everything is a joke and you have forever to play with, when all your witty cynicism is false and your shy hopes are real. ... ... In response to another Trump cartoon, I commented, "We were never great, but I wonder if we will ever be as good as we were." ... ... I'd better get a jump on the cold goods tonight. For the grocery list. Since Pop is showering tonight instead of in the morning, I am betting that the odds are good that Kay will be arriving early tomorrow. ... ... Kay came early alright, but not in the morning tomorrow. She is here tonight! Thanks for telling me, Pop. I don't suppose it would have made any material difference, but it would be nice if he had a little bit of that grace that would enable him to be more courteous.