Older Irrelevant Rants
“Nasty, Nasty, Nasty”
A year or so ago I did one of those DNA Origin tests. The way it worked out, I’m 96% from England, Wales, and Northwestern Europe. The other 4% includes Sweden, Ireland, and Scotland. That means I’ve got a little Viking marauder-rapist in me. Joy, joy.
My niece who has the same percentages as me gave me a magazine on Vikings for Christmas. After finishing that, I was still curious and bought a non-fiction tome on the Vikings. The thing is so long, I average about 1% per hour of reading. Yuk!
I read a bout twenty percent earlier and then set it aside. A couple of days ago after finishing a book I really liked, I started in on it again. Oh boy, those people were something else. They just killed people off for no real reason—gruesomely most of the time.
Some of my favorites are as follows:
If you refused to accept their religion, they chopped off your head. One lucky person was tied to a post and a bunch of the soldiers used him for target practice with bows and arrows.
One guy they castrated, and when the researchers dug up his skeleton, they found an animal horn stuffed into the appropriate place.
I think my favorite was when they chopped of someone’s head, scooped out the brains, gilded the skull with gold, and used it for a formal water bowl. Wasn’t that sweet of them? How would you like to drink out of that?
Oh well, I guess I’ll stick with my 96% English heritage and kind of forget the Viking part.
There’s been a lot publicized lately about huge rise in suicides this past year due to Covid 19. I think the most depressing data is how many ranging in age from 14 to 21 have taken their own lives. Being quarantined and missing school, sports, and their friends is taking its toll.
Among adults, supposedly 59% have been females. Another interesting statistic is that there have been more Hispanics than any other race. I guess we can only say “Why?” so many times before we try to do something about it.
I know one of the most important things is to be there and be willing to listen. Too many parents of kids think they don’t have time. They’re working, they’re cooking dinner, they’re watching their favorite program on TV. BS, you’re not that busy. Sit down with your spouse, friend, kid, or whoever and listen. Ask them what you can do—and then do it.
I know way back in the day, when I was still hanging out as a teacher, there was more than one kid whose wrist I turned over to check for scratches. I’m assuming it’s still a warning sign that if someone is contemplating suicide, many times they practice slicing and scratching their wrists to see if they “really” want to do it.
The main point is, if someone in your family or circle of friends is seeming depressed, talk to them. If there is something bad going on in your immediate circle, you’ll know it. Do something. If you can’t, there is professional help out there if they need to see someone.
Went to get my second Covid 19 vaccination this morning at the Sparrow Senior Center.
As always, I showed up early. Don’t ever want to be late for an appointment. The waiting room was full of old codgers who I estimate to all be at least 30-40 years older than me.
As time went on, more people kept arriving. After about 45-50 minutes, I was the only one left in the room.
Weird! I finally went up to the window and asked if maybe I’d been forgotten. The lady behind the window stuttered and stammered something about a computer malfunction.
Within about two minutes I was called in. “Supposedly” the computer backfired and I was checked out and never checked in. I’m sure the lady behind the counter had nothing to do with it—like maybe hitting the wrong button?
Anyway, the shot went fine, and so far, there have been zero aftereffects. Rumor has it that more people get them with shot number two than number one. Anyway, I can’t believe the number of people who refuse to sign up for the thing. It is no big deal. Do it!
“Can we Kiss Winter Goodbye?”
I really am sick and tired of winter. Between being stuck at home due to Covid, the weather has made it even worse. It seems like we’ve been getting a couple of inches almost every other day.
Since I don’t “Have” to be out and about, I don’t. We don’t need one more car on the slippery roads.
Tonight we have another crappy forecast. It’s supposed to dump somewhere between 4 and 7 to 9 inches on top of the 12 to 14 inches piled on my front yard now.
Now, we don’t really need that. How about a winter thaw? I could handle that.
It’s been ages since the temperature got above 32 degrees. Personally, I blame it all on the groundhog who saw his stupid shadow. Why did he have to even come out of his hole?
Alright, enough whining about the weather.
“It’s Over. Let’s Move on”
Thank goodness, the trial is over. Now, can we just move on? The results were as expected. Trump was acquitted because a number of his people felt the trial was unconstitutional. Truth or not, that’s the way they voted.
I thought it was interesting that Senator McConnel voted to acquit and then blasted the former president for criminal behavior—hinting broadly that Trump might end up in criminal court.
Boy, would that ever stir the pot? Don’t know what would be worse, that or having Trump trying to run for president again in 2024. Personally, I wish he would just disappear.
No reason why he couldn’t spend his days on his golf course and let the country try to get back to some semblance of normalcy.
It’s time for both parties to take deep breaths through their noses, hold them for as long as possible, and then exhale through their mouths for 20 second intervals,
Maybe they can visualize filling balloons over their heads on the inhales, and deflating them on the exhales. Once that is done to the point where everyone calms down, then get to work on Covid relief, medical and insurance issues, taxation relief for the masses (Not necessarily the billionaires), infrastructure, and all the other issues.
“A New Twist to the Trial”
This morning the senate voted to call witnesses. I’m kind of surprised that they did because both sides want to get the thing over and done with.
The Republicans want to get it over and move on so they don’t get crucified by the party followers, and the Democrats want to get it over so they can move on with Covid relief.
In the meantime, I think calling witnesses would be a good idea—providing those who are called tell the truth.
I’d like to see the congressman who got into a shouting match with the former president while the VEEP was being hustled out of his office and into a secure location.
Supposedly, POTUS thought the rioters were more concerned with his election steal diatribe than the congressman was.
Another congresswoman apparently was observing and taking notes. I’d like to hear what she had to say.
Also, I would like to have them put congresswoman Green under oath and hear what she has to say.
I don’t want to see the trial dragged out forever, but I think it would be very informative for the senators who have to vote and the general public who get to vote in the future to hear some of these witnesses. We’ll see what happens.
“The Trial of the Century”
Can’t wait to see how all of this is going to play out in the history books fifty years from now. For the record, I plan on hanging around long enough to check it out. LOL
Anyway, the way I see it, I think it’s sad that when all the presentations of both sides are made that the vote can’t be done by secret ballot. I would much rather see the senators on both sides of the aisle vote their hearts and consciences instead of their political party.
I swore up and down that I was not going to watch the trial, so what have I done? Yesterday I watched for 3 and a half hours. There were a number of first time shown videos. They were scary to put it mildly. I think the one that might have got to me the hardest was watching the person whisper into his phone, fearing for his life.
Watching the vice president and his family being whisked out of the room and to safety was moving as well along with Senator Romney who had gone the wrong way. These people were 53 steps from attack and possible death? Scary. Making it all the worse, the deal with Pence happened as the President was complaining about him on Twitter for not cheating.
And, did you see the gallows with all the rioters shouting, “Hang Pence?” Hard to believe all this crap was happening here in the United States in 2021.
As I said, it’s going to be interesting to see how all of this goes down in history. Maybe I won’t want to be around to see it After all.
I just finished a book a friend gave me that I really think some of you might like. The title of it is "Following Atticus," by Tom Ryan. Atticus is a miniature Schnauzer and Tom is the owner of a local newspaper.
After a friend of the author died of cancer, he and Atticus climb the trails of the White Mountains of New Hampshire to earn money for cancer.
The original goal was that they would climb forty-eight of the peaks twice in one winter. Over time, the two of them climbed more than 450 of the 4000' mountain peaks.
The overall theme of the book is life, growth, redemption and love. Both Tom and Atticus are taken up with beauty of the area and the relationship between man and dog.
Tom vowed never to “train” Atticus. He would let him be who he was. When it came to mountain climbing, Atticus almost became leader of the pack.
Incidentally, Kay and I took a bus tour to the top of White Mountain. (We sure as heck didn’t climb it.) There was a weather station on top which was literally chained down with two huge cables going over the top from one side to the other. The wind speed up there has been recorded at 231 MPH.
If interested, check it out. I thought it was a great book.
“Corona Virus Shot”
Darn! After getting my first Corona virus shot last week, I thought I’d finally made it into the top one percent.
Come to find out, it’s really the bottom one percent. It’s hard to believe that only one percent of the people have actually been vaccinated by now. But I guess that’s the way it is.
I waited a few days to say anything about it to see what I would get for side effects. Well, after five days, there have been zero.
I intentionally had them shoot up the right arm because I sleep on my left side. The arm didn’t even get sore. Now I have to wait until the 17th for shot number two. I say, bring it on. I’m ready.
I cannot believe how many people refuse to take the shot. The paranoia some people come up with is hilarious.
For the fun of it, I Googled “Corona virus conspiracy theories.” If you haven’t done that yet, do so. I laughed at most of them.
I think my favorites are as follows:
Bill Gates is behind shooting microchips into everyone’s arms. It didn’t really catch why, just that he’s behind it. Maybe the funniest one was the discussion about the vaccine in India being made out of cow dung and urine. The one I’ve heard of more than any other is the line about the “disappearing” needles. Then, of course, there’s the one about people getting Bell’s palsy from the shot. On and on they go.
If you have time during your Covid hibernation period, do check them out. It’s hard to believe what some people will believe.
I know I’m only one example, but it didn’t hurt, and I had absolutely no after-effects. Go sign up for your shot as soon as you are eligible.
“Questions for the future”
I’ve been thinking about the impeachment trial. Apparently, there are enough republicans who are not willing to convict, so the question of whether the former president will be able to run for office again is moot.
There have been discussions about Trump starting a third party which is far right wing. If that happens, what happens to the current republican and democratic parties? He does have a supportive base which will immediately join him.
What about curious and adventurous people who are democrats, republicans, and independents? Will some of them join the new party for any number of reasons?
They are unhappy with what is happening now? They don’t believe in national unity? They thought the insurrection was great and were unhappy they hadn’t become a part of it?
I think the most valid question is what becomes of the moderate faction of the republican party? Will the traditional party be dead and gone? Will middle-of-the-road democrats and republicans start a new party leaving the far left and far right to their own devices?
Time will tell. I think this is going to get interesting.
“Ah, It Seems a Little More Peaceful out There”
It’s probably my imagination, but it seems more peaceful out there than it did. At least there were no riots during the inauguration. That’s definitely a step in the right direction.
For the first time ever, I actually watched the inauguration ceremony. I liked Biden’s speech.
I thought his call for peace and unity among all hit a strong cord. It sounded like he was willing to work with both parties for the good of the nation. Whether that was his true feelings or pure rhetoric will remain to be seen.
I hope both sides will decide to work together for the first time in twelve years when McConnel started Obama’s first term with the comment that his number one goal was to make sure O didn’t get reelected. It’s been a long time since both sides even tried to work together.
Now, if the clowns on Facebook would just get over it and quit nitpicking every single thing that is said or done and give the new administration a chance to be successful that would certainly help.
In the meantime, like up for your Covid vaccination and lets get this pandemic behind us.
“Weird, Weird Time”
I can’t help but wonder what is going to happen when all of this is over. Are we going to turn into a nation of rioters every time something happens that we don’t like?
The nation started its trend towards disintegration when Black Lives Matter protests turned violent. Then post-election protests became violent when the President encouraged people to march to the capital.
Now the officials in DC are talking about a force of 20,000 National Guard troops during the inauguration. When was that ever necessary before?
A president is in the process of being impeached for the second time. This is the first time in history that it has happened. What will be the fallout on this one?
I see several potential results—the death of the Republican party as we know it, numerous Republican congressmen and senators being booted out of office by their own people, etc.
What will the radicals do with the moderates who vote for impeachment? What will the moderates do to the radicals who voted for refusing to accept the election?
If they cannot resolve their differences and we end up in a three-party system, that’ll be the end of the Republican party as we know it.
Yes, this is a weird, weird time we’re living in. How will it all turn out? Who knows? My biggest hope is that peace will prevail, and we can get back to bickering sanely.
“History Lesson Du Jour”
I think I’ve learned more history in the past month or so than I ever did in my early years.
I never knew some of the fine points of impeachment, the 25th. Amendment, and other legal points of the Constitution making sure that we have and maintain an equal three-part government.
For instance, did you know that if a president is impeached twice, he can be prevented from ever running from office again? Plus, if that happens, he loses all of his retirement benefits—Civil Service protection, and more.
Another thing I didn’t know is that an impeachment and removal can be completed after the president leaves office.
Most people would, I’m sure, would wonder what good that would do. That’s where the inability to run again comes in. Without a Senate trial and conviction, that doesn’t go into effect.
The next week or so will prove very interesting and scary. Let’s hope the insurrections are over and that things calm down.
“Never in my dreams”
I cannot believe what I witnessed yesterday. Thank goodness it was by spending 10 hours in front of the TV and not in person. Call it insurrection, sedition, riots, whatever you want, but believe what you saw and not some “theory.”
Probably we’ve all seen the mob violence either as it happened or by the replays, so we don’t need to rehash all of that. My concern and questions are around capitol security.
Where was it? Why did it literally take hours to amass the troops to clear out the crowds? I can’t believe it was the six o’clock curfew that did the trick, even if the timing did match.
Does our national capitol have a tragic lack of security? Were they totally unprepared? Were they intentionally held back by some unknown source? We’ll probably never know. Putin might, but we won’t.
However, when an attempted coup happens, a lady is shot, three others die on site, bombs are planted and disabled, people are breaking windows and crawling into the capitol, some idiot is sitting in Pelosi’s chair with his feet on her desk, and on and on it goes, and there is no security other than a handful of cops, something is wrong. What the hell happened?
“So, what’s next?”
With the election over and the next few years pretty much determined, now what will happen?
Will we go back twelve years when a certain congressional leader said, the number one priority of the Republican party was to make sure that Obama did not get reelected?
I didn’t use quotation marks because I’m writing the above from memory. Also, apparently there’s some debate as to when the comment was actually made and the circumstances around it.
Anyway, the point is, the Democrats and Republicans have been refusing to work with each other for twelve years. That needs to change.
I know it’s a lot to ask, but I’m hoping that with the new administration, House, and Senate, the politicians might suddenly decide that working for the American people is more important that fighting with each other. Maybe we could actually get some positive things accomplished.
I’m also hoping our relationship with long-term American allies smooths out. World peace is a lot more important than the various leaders having an on-going pissing match attempting to prove who is the most important big shot. The leaders are all important and so are the people. Let’s get along.
Personally, I’m hoping the news smooths out to the point where I don’t feel obligated to turn on the TV every morning to see what ridiculous thing was said or done in the political arena overnight. Let’s get back to normal.
“losing my feeble mind”
I’ve always made it a point not to go public on Facebook or anywhere else when it comes to politics. However, there has been so much crap out there lately, I’ve snuck in a few comments.
I really don’t care if a person is a republican or a democrat. Personally, I’m really pretty much in the middle of the road. I see good points on both side of the fence.
However, with so much totally absurd BS that people have been posting, I’ve been counter posting. Sorry about that, but that’s the way it is.
I just hope beyond hope that when Jan 20th is over, people can get back to some kind of normalcy and move on.
If not, I just might have to start unfriending people who keep up the diatribes. Hate to do it, but I’m going nuts skimming through the garbage just to see what people have to post about what’s going on in their lives.
Happy Holidays Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, happy whatever it is you celebrate and whenever you do it.
My primary holiday wish is that people could get off the far left and right fringes and come together for the betterment of the world.
don’t think we need to be name calling and belittling each other even though I think those of you who don’t agree with me are nuts Just kidding.
Seriously, one of the things that is bothering me is the fact that we are headed for some kind of violence or civil disturbance because of the election. Add that to all the Covid 19 concerns, and it’s been a wild and crazy year.
Also, it seems like we’ve been fighting with all of our traditional allies—hopefully I’m wrong and it won’t backfire on us. I would prefer to see our world become more inclusive than exclusive. However, what the hell do I know?
In the meantime, let’s finish off 2020 with smiles on our faces and a hope for a better 2021.
“The End of Democracy?”
I can’t believe what I’m seeing and hearing out there. The president elect won by over 7 million votes and 74 electoral votes. Why are some people making threats? Can’t they accept the truth?
Today they had to close down all of the state offices here in Lansing because of a protest march and what is considered to be a legitimate threat at the capitol building during the electoral vote process. One MI Rep even threatened that there was going to be a “Hail Mary” attempt during a radio interview to interrupt the process. He essentially hinted that there would be planned violence.
There have been all kinds of claims about corruption and fraud in the election, yet NO-ONE has offered any proof—just accusations. All claims have been debunked. So, now what happens? Is Democracy as we know it gone?
I saw a blurb somewhere that some people in Texas want to secede from the union. That probably won’t happen, but… Will this be a repeat of 2008 when Mitch McConnel said that the number one priority of the Republican party was to make sure that Obama did not get re-elected and spent eight years fighting everything he tried to do?
Will this be the end of the sane Regan, Bush, McCain, Republican Party? I think maybe it already is. What will take its place? Will it be a radical and violent group who ignore and refuse to obey the laws of the land? I guess only time will tell. I just hope we don’t end up with another Civil War and/or dictatorship.
“Can You Believe it?”
When I answered the area code 243 call—wherever that is—with my classic, “CIA Assassination Squad. Where would you prefer that we dispose of your body? We always recommend the Dead Sea,” the dude hung up one me. For some reason or the other, they always seem to do that unless they are one of those automated ones, and then they just keep talking.
Oh well, on to more important stuff. I know I’ve mentioned this before, but since we here in MI had our partial stay-at-home orders extended for another 12 days, I thought I’d repeat it. Every weekend from Thursday through Monday, I give away one of my literary masterpieces through Amazon for the Kindled.
This week’s book is Pondering the Past, a story about a young couple about to be married. The guy was originally a foster child from age 2-11. He had a horrible experience at age two that he never shared or got out of his system, until…
Next week is Really Short Shorts, book 1. It’s a compilation of 40 short stories. Christmas week is Taming Little Ike, which is one of my favorites.
Some people think I’m a bit nuts for giving them away. I know of at least some people who have overtime downloaded all thirteen for free. To be perfectly honest, I’d rather have a lot of people read them for free than not read them at all.
I just wish people would put a review out there on Amazon of all the books they’ve read. Oh well, they aren’t going to do that, so whatever. If you have a Kindle, download all of them and read them.
This Covid 19 thing must be getting to me. After reading all the political books I could stomach, I started reading all of my own literary masterpieces. At least I can relate to them—not always so with the political tomes.
I’ve been trying to decide which of my books is my favorite. I started out with Sometimes, home ain’t ‘Home Sweet Home.’ After reading that, I knew that one is my favorite. Then I read the two books about Damey and Grandpa Tutor and Damey and the Z-team. Then, that pair were my favorites. After that, it was Taming Little Ike.
On and on it’s gone. Every one that I read gets selected. All I have left is the last two books of the As Life Goes On trilogy and the two short story books and I’ll be done. Then, maybe I can go back to mysteries or something like that.
As some of you already know, all of the books were inspired by true events that I learned about mostly in my middle school years when we didn’t have a counselor so the kids spilled their guts to their teachers after school and during planning periods. Nobody besides me would ever figure out where any of the stories came from because I changed them so much.
What I didn’t realize until I started my little reading project is that one of the series and one of the stand-along books came from the same original situation. Not only that, but I duplicated a handful of scenes in different books. Sorry about that. At least nobody else who happened to notice it has ever mentioned it.
Anyway, I should be finished reading all of them in another week or so and then I can start a new project. Maybe I’ll even come up with a new brainstorm and start writing again. Or, maybe not.
“Here We Go Again”
For the second time this year, Michigan is going on partial lockdown because of Covid. Why? Because people are too bull-headed, stupid, or egotistical to play it safe. The infectious disease specialists have stressed that all we need to do is wear a mask, maintain social distancing, and avoid crowds. This is NOT a hoax.
Recently I drove by the capital where a rally of some kind was going on. Not a mask in sight. Did the same thing at a political rally—drove through the area just to look. Again, not a mask in sight except the one I saw while looking in the car’s mirror.
Like one little blurb on Facebook said, wearing a mask is a lot easier than an incubator. Yesterday someone sent me a thing by an OBGYN doctor who specializes in women’s diseases. She told what her specialties were, and none of them were close to infectious diseases.
So, what does she claim? Covid vaccines will change your body’s DNA by turning it into an antenna where the govt. can keep track of your physical data by inserting little robots to steal it and connect us to crypto currency. OMG, what won’t they come up with next? The scary part is, people actually believe all that crap.
C’mon, people. Wear your mask, socially distance, and avoid crowds. We can get over this. I would like to go back to my favorite local restaurants sometime before I hit 100.
“This is Evil”
It’s been reported that the number of migrant children whose parents cannot be found has risen from the earlier reported 545 to 666. Did somebody miscount, or did we separate more kids from their parents? Supposedly, it’s all because of the “Zero Tolerance” policy. If the numbers aren’t bad enough, according to an email received by NBC news, 129 of them are under five-years-old.
Okay, without going on a tirade for or against the administration’s policy regarding legal/illegal immigrant, maybe we should look at what it’s doing to the children. Visualize your own kids of various ages living in a cage—starving for your affection, love, and guidance. Not a pleasant thought, is it?
If somebody grows some gonads and makes the decision to reunite them, how will they do it? How will they even find them? And, if they do, will they deport the children to their family’s home country?
What if it’s one of the cartel countries where everyone’s lives are at stake? Will they allow the parents to come to the US to reunite with their children? Will they even check out the parents to see if they would make valued citizens? Yes or no?
Somehow, someway, the government has to find the parents of all these kids. Once they do, I think they should check their viability as future citizens. If they have job skills that can be used, they should be allowed to stay and become future citizens.
What better lesson could be sent to those children we have had stashed in cages at the border? Maybe Americans aren’t all evil and unforgiving after all. Maybe some of us do have a heart. Maybe this is a place they’d like to grow up and become productive citizens?
“Hip, Hip, Hooray! It’s Over!”
Finally, the election of 2020 is history. Speaking of it being over, I’m betting it goes down as the most negative, vile, unprofessional election in antiquity. Not only with the presidency, but the Senate, House, and all kinds of local elections. The lies, the threats, the bravado, the BS, and the glossing over and ignoring of the issues. Horrible!
Now, all we have to do is wait to see how it all turns out. I wonder how long it will take? Neither side will concede, that’s for sure. With the largest group of mail-in ballots in history, it’s going to take some time. Too bad all the states can’t start counting the mail-ins early. Some do, but most don’t. That would speed up the results big time.
What really worries me is what is going to happen when a winner is finally declared? Will the loser refuse to accept the results? Will their followers start a civil war of some kind? Will there be all kinds of rioting in the streets? Will the looters, shooters, thieves, and idiots all be out in force? It’s going to be a scary time.
Personally, I’ve been loading up on frozen meals along with all kinds of paper products. If I have to hunker down to stay safe, that’s what I’ll do. Since I really don’t cook any more, it’s just me and my microwave. Tra, la, la ,la la.
In the meantime, let’s hope cooler heads prevail and all of this worry is for nothing. My utmost wish is that all of the losers will accept the results, and we’ll move on to the election of 2022.
“Something Good in 2020?”
Just when you think all is lost, something special happens. 2020 has been a year of Covid, riots, a diving Dow Jones, hate, threats of civil war, etc. etc. etc. And then, along come the Spartans.
After an unexpected loss to Rutgers, a week ago, the football season was kind of appearing to be a disaster looking for a place to happen.
People were suddenly clambering for the heads of the new coaching staff—regardless of the fact that limited conditioning, practice, the learning of a a new system, and the lack of any non-conference games were all in play,
So, Sparty goes into the game with Michigan 21 point underdogs. The team that suffered through seven turnovers the week previously had zero this week. A freshman had something like eight receptions to the tune of 196 receiving yards. End result, our Spartans won the game 27-24. Ta Da!
As could be expected, a lot of Michigan fans are after their coach’s job. His record against Michigan State, Ohio State, and others has not been great. Every year there have been high expectations, to no avail. So, maybe their headhunting is justified. Who knows?
Now, what I really question is the fact that there are some people who are still angry at the Spartan’s head coach because of the loss against Rutgers and still want him gone.
I don’t claim to have any expertise, but that doesn’t make sense to me. The team had another week of practice while dealing with their issues, and it worked—at least for their next game.
Let’s give our new coach some support and forget the first week. After all, our expectations for the year were not all that great. Nobody expected many wins.
Beating Michigan is something to be happy about and to celebrate. Forget the negativity for a change.
“People are Nuts”
The pandemic is going crazy here in Michigan. The second wave is upon us. In DeWitt, a little town just north of Lansing, has in the past couple of days canceled in class schooling and gone totally on line.
If that isn’t bad enough, the entire police department has gone into quarantine and is temporality shut down. The state police have taken over the protection of the town.
So, where am I going with this? The other day President Trump came to the Capital City Airport for a rally. On the way home from breakfast at my favorite restaurant hangout, I decided to swing by the airport and see what was going on.
This was four hours before his scheduled touchdown. The line was about a mile and a half from the parking lot. That afternoon on the way home from an appointment, I went by it again. The area was an absolute zoo.
As I was having some TV problems, I sweet-talked my kid into coming over to fix it when he got out of work at two. When I got home from an appointment, he was sitting on the couch watching TV. TaDa!
Anyway, he’s an airplane buff like me and wondered if I wanted to ride over to the airport to see if we could spot Air force 1, the president’s plane. He had never seen it.
I figured we’d probably go down one of the back roads and look over the fence. Oh no, into the airport he drove. We rode around the place until we found a place where we could see the plane. He got a couple of pictures, and we continued driving around looking at the crowd.
There was a line that went on forever of people heading into the hanger where the rally was taking place. I estimate that two-thirds of the people were not wearing masks. Socially distanced? Ha!
Yeah, yeah, I know the BS lingo about how everyone has their rights, and nobody can tell them they have to wear one of those stupid things, and that science doesn’t hold a candle to a hunch, but that isn’t the way I see it.
I wear a mask in public to protect others as well as myself. As so many people are asymptomatic, I have no way of knowing if I’m infected or not. I don’t think I am, but I’ve never been tested either. So, I don’t want to take a chance on infecting family, friends, or strangers. I just wish others would think the same way and protect me and mine.
“Violence and the threat of it is getting out of hand.”
It seems like every time I turn around, some news of violence pops into the media.
Earlier on it was the so-called protest marches that turned into violent melees. Ever wonder what it would take to get you to throw a chair or rock threw some store window and then break into the place and steal everything you could get your hands on? Personally, I can’t imagine doing it, but maybe that’s just me.
In the past week or two, two governors, (Michigan and Virginia) have been threatened by terrorist groups. One plan was supposedly to kidnap and kill the MI governor. I suppose the same went for the VA governor as well. Now, how intelligent was that group?
One of them supposedly indicated that they would go knock on the governor’s vacation home door, and when she answered, they’d shoot her. Like, the governor would be answering the door? Duh…
In the past couple of days, Dr. Fauchi and his wife were interviewed and they talked about the threats on their lives. A doctor in his late seventies has to worry about his and his family’s safety because he makes decisions based on science and data rather than politics? Ridiculous.
Today, some clown in Maryland was arrested for making death threats against Biden and Harris. Apparently, he was dropping off letters to people’s houses who had Biden signs in their yard. The letters supposedly said that “Grandpa Biden” and Harris would be attacked and executed.
Tuesday night, a three-year-old girl was shot at a play and game facility near the Lansing Mall. They don’t “Think” she was the target. She just had the audacity to be in a play area when some idiot decided to shoot the place up. If anyone deserves to get pinned down by the cops with their knees on his neck, he does.
So, why have things gotten so violent? Is it political rhetoric? Is it the fact that everyone thinks he’s a macho dude who can carry his gun any old place and use it any old time he feels like it? Is it the after effect of the Covid pandemic? -Who knows? All I know for sure is that the atmosphere has gotten so volatile out there that it’s getting down-right scary.
“I’m sick of politics”
I have voted in every election since Abraham Lincoln. Well, OK, that might be a slight exaggeration, but let’s face it, I’ve been voting for a long time.
Never in all these years have I ever been so sick of an election cycle. It seems as if every race is negative—the house, senate, presidency, and everything else.
Whatever happened to the days when the candidates talked about issues and what they thought they could do? It has gotten so bad, that today some senator was making fun of the pronunciation of Kamala Harris’s first name. How lame is that?
For the past two days I haven’t signed on to any of the national news channels. Typically, I’ll turn on one of them during my exercise routine as I ride my stationary bike for a half hour every afternoon.
Not the last couple of days. I turn up the radio and sing to the music. Good thing for the neighbors that the weather has cooled off so all the windows and doors are closed tightly. They’d probably call the police thinking somebody was getting murdered.
I’ve gotten so sick of the constant blathering, that recently I’ve watched one of the free movies on TV. Not only that, but I watched the same movie twice.
The movie was pretty old, but that’s OK. I never watch movies so it was a new experience. The title was “Witness” starring Harrison Ford.
I wouldn’t want to get quoted on it, but that movie might date back to the 1980s. A little Amish boy watched the murder of a policeman from a public bathroom stall at a train station making him the witness. Naturally, he had to be protected.
I watched it the second time just to make sure I had all the facts straight in my head. The movie ended right, but not the way I hoped for.
Oh well, it was fun and I enjoyed it—which is a lot more than I can say about the political BS that we are bombarded with on a daily basis. C’mon November. Hurry up and get here.
“No More Debates?”
After the Commission on Presidential Debates said that future debates would be held virtually because of the president’s testing positive for coronavirus, there apparently will be no more debates this year—at least, not right away.
The president indicated he would not debate because a virtual debate isn’t a real debate.
Alright, that’s what he said. Now what is the “real” reason? The conspiracy theorists are going wild again.
Several people have indicated that he is sicker than what he is pretending to be, and this is his way out of debating and showing he’s short of breath.
Another theory I heard was that his campaign did not want him to. After the last debate turned into a total debacle, they didn’t want to take a chance.
His poll numbers slid after that last one, and they don’t want to take a chance of them getting any worse. They’re hoping the sympathy voters will turn the numbers around without another debate.
I think the funniest one out there is that Trump faked having coronavirus so he could avoid debating Biden. Of course, there’s the theory that someone on the Left intentionally infected the president.
Afterall, look at the list of Republicans in Washington who have the virus and no Democrats? (However, Rep Joe Cunningham of Pennsylvania, Arizona Rep Raul Grijalva, and Utah Reb Ben McAdams have tested positive for the virus. Oops, there goes that theory.)
Is it some last campaign tactic where he claims he cured himself with some obscure drug that one of his companies makes? Maybe something like hydroxychloroquine or some other unheard-of drug?
Who knows what is going on? Who really cares? Supposedly, Biden wants to debate, and Trump doesn’t. But, does it make any difference?
Haven’t YOU already decided who you are going to vote for and probably wouldn’t watch the thing anyway especially if they start interrupting and talking-over each other again?
“The President’s Covid”
At last count, there are 14 confirmed cases of the virus stemming from the ceremony at the Rose Garden introducing Judge Amy Coney Barrett as President Trump’s nominee to fill the vacancy on the Supreme Court. Who knows how many will get it from them and other related sources?
The most concerning problem, as far as the US goes, has to be the hospitalization of the president for three days. Why only three days when people are infectious for much longer? Granted, as president, he has access to each and every experimental drug available to man. Supposedly, he has taken several. Maybe those have done the job for him.
All of that is good, but what about the show? Why did he have to expose two secret service agents to the virus so they could take him for a ride around the crowd while he waved to them? Why did he have to have photo ops while he was in the hospital—one with his jacket on and one with it off, signing blank pieces of paper.
Supposedly, these two pictures were time-stamped 10 minutes apart.
Why did he have to put on a big show when he returned home saluting the helicopter as it took off and then removing off his mask as he walked into the White House?
I’m loving some of the crazy rumors I’ve heard. The conspiracy theorists are going nuts. The first one I heard was that the Covid was spread by Barrett’s children who were all sitting there with their masks off. Their mother admitted having it earlier, so obviously they caught it from her. Since kids are “supposedly” more asymptomatic than adults, nobody would know they had it and were spreading to everyone.
The wildest rumor I’ve heard is that Trump and his clan faked the whole thing to make him look macho and tough as a survivor of the pandemic just before the election.
The President’s Covid attack definitely leaves a lot of questions—some valid, others not.
After this week’s debacle, I have to wonder if we should have any more presidential debates this year. I hate it when people are so rude, they have to talk over and scream at each other. Many times I’ve tuned into a national news channel. When the guests start talking over each other, I normally turn it off. During the debate, I didn’t. I kept hoping the poor moderator could get himself heard.
Speaking of the moderator, how would you like to be in his shoes? Here you are dealing with the President of the United States and a former Vice President. He could barely get their attention, much less get them to pay any attention.
So, if we have the other two debates, what do we do? I think the suggestion I’ve heard the most is a “mute” button. Of course, I’ve heard of a number of others like air horns and shock collars. I kind of like the shock collar idea.
What do you think caused the mess? Was it pure arrogance, disrespect of your opponent, ignorance, all of the above? I have my own opinions, but then, so does everyone else. I just don’t think a national debate for the presidency is the place for insults, disrespect, bringing up the other one’s family issues, and all that crap.
I will listen to one more debate. If the committee cannot get a handle on it, I will not listen to a third. No way. What do you want to bet that the VEEP debate is 100% different?
“This is Scary”
The president has said that he will not commit to a peaceful transfer of power if he loses the election. This is something that has never happened in the history of the United States.
In recent years there have been two close and contested elections where Al Gore and Hillary Clinton actually won the popular vote, but lost the Electoral College. They did not want to screw up our democracy, so they did not refuse to accept the outcome. They conceded.
With no justification or proof, the current president claims the opposition is trying to rig the election. More than anything, he’s blaming absentee voting—which, incidentally, has gone on for years. What makes his claim even weirder, he told the voters in Florida, his home state, to vote by absentee ballot. To me, that doesn’t make any sense. If it’s a rigged scam in 49 states, why isn’t it in 50?
Now, what is really scary, on August 18,2020, Thomas Friedman of the NY Times said the America is on the brink of its second civil war. Between the bully tactics, rhetoric, threats, and actions of the president, Friedman thinks the president’s base will respond with their AK47s. Let’s hope saner minds prevail.
So, what are we going to do? Everybody’s got to vote. With the Covid 19 pandemic, it’s safer to vote by absentee ballot than in person. To make sure your vote is counted, take it personally to one of the ballot drop off boxes. With all the questions going on about the US Post Office, maybe at this time, it’s safer not to trust them.
Who knows if the post office has intentionally slowed down delivery like they’ve been accused of? Don’t take a chance. Hand deliver it.
If it is necessary to mail in your ballot, do it as soon as humanly possible. Then, call your representatives and demand an investigation as well as funding of the postal service—and maybe a new director. Don’t let intentional slowdowns “lose” your ballot. If you’re young and Covid 19 free, think about volunteering at the polls.
Vote—either in person or by mail. And, yes, your vote does count.
“Our DC Hypocrites”
When you think the lies couldn’t get any more blatant in DC, they do. Our glorious leaders are so full of it, it makes you want to get rid of all of them.
Ruth Bader Ginsberg (RBG) died after a glorious career as a justice on the Supreme Court. She’s an icon who fought for women’s rights and equality. What a role model for not only women and girls but also men and boys. She deserves to have us sit back until her funeral and honor, reflect, and praise her legacy.
So, what do we get? Within hours after her death, we hear all kinds of diatribes regarding her succession to the court. Who will it be? When will it be done? Who will make the choice? Will it be the current president or the one elected in November?
Four years ago, the Senate refused to act on the President’s choice because the Justice Scalia vacancy happened within a 10-month time frame before the election. According to them, that was too soon. It had be the next President who got to make the choice.
This year it’s less than two months. But, according to them, this time it is different. Our so-called leaders in the Senate—primarily Lindsey Graham and Mitch McConnell, who were responsible for the decision four years ago, are telling all kinds of lies about how this time things are not the same. I have tried to listen to their arguments, and all I can gather from them is a huge line of BS.
To date, two Republican senators have indicated they will not vote before the election. They say whoever wins the election should be able to make the choice, and I agree. The question becomes, how many more are willing to stand up to the leaders and do what is honest and right? There has to be at least two more. I guess time will tell. In the meantime, I’m so over 2020. Let’s get on to the new year.
“Do they play or not?”
High school, college, and the pros are pretty much all coming back--even the Big 10. After cancelling fall sports, the league folded to the pressure from fans, coaches, and the president to get on with their season. Should they be playing? I have no clue.
One of my school-age family members cannot play football this season because other parents are saying “No, you aren’t playing.” Therefore, his league threw in the towel for the year. The unseen result is the fact that my relative has decided he’s giving up sports and is going to become a “gamer.” Oh boy! Here’s a kid who has always loved sports, played football, basketball, and baseball, and has suddenly decided he’s giving it all up?
Let’s be real here. He isn’t going to give up sports, but he’s depressed. A lot of kids are depressed. I read somewhere recently that the suicide rate of kids in the 10-16 age bracket has raised substantially. It’s not just sports, its school, masks, self-quarantines, the inability to socialize with friends, and more. Young kids are not the only ones are affected.
College kids are having issues as well. I’ve been watching the transfers, kids putting their names into the pro portal, the opt-outs for the year because of Covid, and the ones who changed their minds. There has to be all kinds of instability and depression within the college ranks as well.
I’m very glad I am not the parent of a school-aged kid any more. How do you make a sane decision? What if your kid wants to play and you don’t want the person to? Or, what if the question is going the other way around? What is the right decision? Can your child really get seriously sick from playing sports if he or she sticks to the safety guidelines and mandates? How can a kid play football while wearing a mask? That would have to be unhealthy.
With any luck, a vaccination will be developed sooner than later that is effective, safe, and has no bad side effects.
Speaking of vaccinations, check this out. I have this kid who is a firm believer in the conspiracy theory of everything. Well, I just had to tell him and his wife this line. “I got my flu shot today, and it was really weird. When she pulled the needle out of my shoulder, the government mandated ID Microchip came out half way. She took out this little reflex hammer and tapped it back in. Then, she told me to go out into the parking lot and stand beside my car for about five minutes until the satellite connected with it. When it does, your arm will start tingling. Sure enough, that’s exactly what it did. Tingled and vibrated like mad.”
Oh well, I enjoyed their reactions until they somehow figured out I was pulling their legs.
This week Michael Caputo, the Director of Health and Human Services (HHS) came out and publicly said that the opposition was planning armed insurrection and sedition for after the election. So, what does he do but tell people to go out and buy ammunition so they’ll be ready to do who-knows-what? He is quoted as saying, “If you carry guns, bring ammunition, ladies and gentlemen, because it’s going to be hard to get.” I know, opinions are like … but, that’s nuts.
If that isn’t a big enough political conspiracy theory, he’s also saying that career government scientists are engaging in “sedition” on their handling of the pandemic, and that left-wing hit squads are preparing for armed insurrection after the election. In other words, scientist who work for the government do not want America to get well until Joe Biden is president. Again, that’s nuts…
So now, Covid 19 is a political hoax for the soul purpose of defeating the president in November. And, if that happens, everyone is to take up arms and start some kind of civil war. I would think that the intentional incitement of violence and rioting would be illegal—regardless of whether the person was active in the government or not.
So, what do we, who are sitting back observing this stupidity, do? I would suggest that maybe it might be smart before the election to go out and stock up on necessities instead of ammunition. I don’t mean hoarding 10 packs of 30 roll bundles of toilet paper, but using a little common sense. How much food and incidental supplies are you going to need to last a couple of weeks or so while the idiots are patrolling the streets.
“I Guess I’m a Sucker”
I don’t know if the president called the soldiers who lost their lives in Vietnam “Losers” and “Suckers” or not. Proving it is up to the experts. The problem is, according to the media, he was accused of it by reliable sources. The whole idea of it drives me nuts.
I joined the USAF at the ripe old age of 17 right out of high school. Historically, we were between Korea and Vietnam. I spent four years of active duty. Then I spent the next two years in inactive reserve during the beginning of Vietnam. If I hadn’t been in college, I would have been recalled to active service. That’s the way it was back in those days. The logistics don’t matter. I’d do it again in a heartbeat.
Needless to say, even though we were between wars, we had our stress-filled-times. I was stationed at Incirlik Air Base in Adana, Turley during the time when Gary Powers was shot down flying his U-2 spy plane over Sverdlovsk, Russia. If that had started a war, I was in the wrong place at the wrong time.
Our base pretty much went on lockdown as we seriously expected the bombs to start flying. We went to work and stayed out of sight during our off time. We airmen knew where every underground drainage ditch was on the base—as if that really would have helped. Fortunately, the Russians didn’t start throwing bombs our way.
I don’t know if it were more interesting than scary or vice versa. VEEP Nixon announced that Gary Powers got lost and flew over Russia by accident. The next day, President Eisenhower addressed the world and admitted that he was on a spy mission.
If there was anything fun during that period, it was listening to two different radio stations—Radio Free Europe and Moscow Mollie. Their reports of the situation were so different, you wouldn’t know they were talking about the same incident. Radio Free Europe grossly exaggerated the event one way, and Moscow Mollie from Russia told a completely different story. As we were right in the middle of the action, we knew pretty much what was going on.
The whole point is, calling military personnel, alive or dead, “losers” and “suckers” is horrible offensive, not only to me, but everyone I’ve talked to about it, whether they served or not. Back in those days, all males either enlisted or waited until they were drafted, unless they had bone spurs or some other medical condition. There were other ways to not have to serve, like being married with children, etc.
Anyway, if the president did say that during his trip to France and the military cemeteries, he needs to sincerely and honestly apologize. If he didn’t say it, that’s a different story.
My whole point is, if joining the military during a time of upheaval or any other time is for losers and suckers, than count me in.
“What the 2020 is Going On?”
Excuse me for laughing, but I just saw on Facebook a blurb about making 2020 a swearword. Sounds good to me. “Get the 2020 out of here! You’re such a 2020ing idiot.” Hey! I’m sure you can find lots of examples.
I can think of a couple right off the top. Yesterday the president told people in North Carolina they should vote twice—once by mail in and one in person. Now, what the 2020 is going on there? Was he joking? Was he being facetious? Was he serious?
Whatever his intent, it’s illegal. Unfortunately, some people will take him seriously. Will he give immunity to all people who try it and get caught? Will he give immunity only to the people who vote for him and not those who vote for Biden?
Personally, I’ve been voting by mail for over twenty years. The only time there was a problem was the one time I forgot to sign it. They sent it back, I signed the thing and sent it back to them. End of problem. I certainly am not leery of absentee voting. Oh, well…
Another 2020ism I think is weird is the number of Republican big wigs who have come out and publicly said they were going to vote for Biden. Yesterday, Rick Snyder, the former Republican governor of Michigan said he was. He indicated he would vote for the Republican state and local candidates, but for Biden for president.
When do you remember anything like that ever happening? There have been times when people of both parties have switched to Independent or 3rd party candidates, but nothing as weird as this.
How about all those 2020s out there who think the Coronavirus is a hoax? For their sake, I certainly hope they don’t get it. I wouldn’t wish it on anyone, even the 2020ing idiots.
Between the election and the virus, we can’t get 2020 over with fast enough for me. Hopefully the new year with bring us a vaccination and sanity. Then we can go back to our favorite swear words like… and …
“Conventions are Over. Ta Da!”
Thank goodness the conventions are over. Now let’s get on with the election. It cannot be over soon enough. So, how will the final campaigns go? Will they be civil? Negative? Positive? A combination? Time will tell. I’m betting on negative.
Which candidate will be the most positive? Which one the most negative? Will it make any difference? I’m betting YOU and almost everyone else you know has already decided who they are going to vote for. I know I have. So, will the campaigns really make any difference? Do they have any chance of changing your mind? I doubt it. Like me, more than likely you will shake your head and roll your eyes at the other guy’s comments.
I read someplace that a number of Biden supporters do not want debates. Their argument is they will just turn into pissing matches and make both candidates look bad. Supposedly, Biden has said he WILL debate. I don’t know where I stand on the issue. I know from past experience that I’ll spend most of the time grumbling under my breath and calling people names.
Personally, I do not know anyone who hasn’t made up their mind yet. Hopefully, those who haven’t will listen to the debates with an open mind and make their choices accordingly. Which candidate sounds the better informed, and able to solve the problems we have in America today—starting with racism, police problems on both sides of the spectrum, and rioting.
I don’t claim to have any answers, but how does throwing a chair through a small-business’s window or shooting someone in the back 7 times solve anything? If you think he’s drawing a gun, shoot him in the butt once and call it good. That definitely should slow him down enough so the handful of cops you have on site can take control. Seven times?
Anyway, hopefully we will all survive the next two months and the election will be over. Naturally, the only way it will be a successful event is if my candidate wins. So, c’mon, clock. Spin faster and get the next two months over with.
“Should I or Not?”
My so-called “Irrelevant Rants” date back to 2014. There are roughly 200 single-space pages to the thing. If I spread it out to a space-and-a-half so it’s easier to read, it’s about 300 pages. The initial take on all of this is, so what? Well, a couple of friends of mine have said that since I’ve been fighting with complete writer’s block during the pandemic, I should do a thorough edit of the thing and publish it.
Now, let’s face it, no one in their right mind is going to buy a 2-300-page book of rants. So, why should I? Well, for starters, it might be kind of fun. I’m guessing there are probably repeat-rants throughout the thing. I don’t know because I haven’t ever read through the thing since I started these things six years ago. If there are repeats, do I delete them or let them go because they would be probably years apart?
Another positive might be, I could potentially get over the writer’s block and think of something new to start writing about again. Or, before Covid, I had started revising and editing “Mat Rats”, a literary masterpiece I wrote back in the day when I was in Portable 3 at the middle school. I could always go to work and finish that.
That dates back to the 1970s. I never published the book. I did print off a handful of copies and give them to a couple of people, but that doesn’t count. It was a book about middle-school wrestling and aimed at a set of twins I had back then. I told them within the past year what I was thinking of doing, and they encouraged me to finish it. Maybe I will. Maybe I won’t.
Another reason for publishing the ‘Rants’ is because the people who have been prodding me to it said I could give them a copy for Christmas. If I do publish, that’s exactly what I will do. LOL So, as you can see, I have a real conundrum going. Do I or don’t I?
Older Irrelevant Rants
“More Questions: Postal Scandal?”
I have no clue what the facts are, and I’m not about to join some protest group, because I don’t have an AK47. So, I’ll just rant.
I do not understand what is so terrible about mail-in voting? I’ve been doing it for 20 years. The only problem I ever experienced was one time when I forgot to sign my ballot. City Hall returned it via the postal service, so I signed it and sent it back. That was the end of it.
Voting by mail is a convenient and safe way to cast one’s ballot. And, let’s face it, in this time of the current Covid pandemic, the safer the better—especially for the elder population. A voter doesn’t have to worry about remembering to take their mask or to socially distance. All you have to do is mail your ballot.
According to the White House, they are concerned about wide-scale corruption. So, apparently, the Post Master General, Louis DeJoy, who is a big-time far-right political donor, has decided to help sabotage the election by a series of steps—cuts to overtime (leading to some mail being left behind and not delivered to prevent overtime), restrictions on transportation, a reduction of mail-processing equipment, and elimination of some of the blue post-office pick up boxes.
Where this doesn’t make any sense to me is the fact the Democrats and Republicans both vote by mail and have done so for years. Even the President and his wife have sent in for their mail-in ballots.
The latest complaint I’ve heard about is a thing called ‘Ballot Harvesting.’ That’s where a third party goes to private homes or a place like a senior-citizen’s center and collects ballots to be delivered to city hall. What this does is ensure that voters who are homebound, disabled, live far from their ballot boxes, etc. are able to have their votes counted like everyone else’s.
Personally, I am going to do things a little bit differently this year. On Sunday, I drove to city hall, parked in front, and walked up to find the ballot drop-off box. I have never used it before, so I didn’t know for sure where it was. So, what I’ll do is drop it off myself this year instead of mailing it. That way I don’t have to worry about mail delays, or the post office ‘losing’ my ballot or not delivering it to avoid overtime. I know it will get there and be counted.
“Questions, Questions, Questions”
What will Biden’s selection of Kamala Harris mean for the presidential election? When I heard it, several questions popped into my head. Some of them having to do with the Biden campaign and some for Trump’s.
I assume Biden knew last week who his pick was going to be. So, why did Governor Whitmer take a “secret” trip to meet up with him a couple of days before the selection was announced? Had he actually not made up his mind yet, or were they talking about her being a potential cabinet pick? I’m sure they weren’t going over her speech at the democratic convention.
If the Kamala Harris choice was an aim at keeping her senate seat democratic, that’s a no-brainer. California is a very liberal, democratic state, so her replacement will more than likely be the same—whomever it is.
Was her selection based on color? With her parents originally from Jamaica and India, she definitely has that going for her. Will it make any difference? Biden already leads heartily in the polls for people of color, so was the color choice mandatory?
So, that leads us to President Trump. He is behind in the polls and needs a game-changer. What can he do to counteract Biden’s pick? Will he at the last-minute dump Vice President Pence for a woman of color? He could, but how would he justify it to his base?
The most logical possibility is the fact that Trump chose Pence to lead the Coronavirus Task Force. That makes him an easy target. If Trump can convince people that the whole lack of government leadership for the pandemic is Pence’s fault and not his, it will take the blame off of his shoulders.
Who could Trump choose that would help his cause? The most obvious might be Nikki Haley. She has a lot of experience as a former governor of South Carolina and as the ambassador to the United Nations in 2017 and 2018. And, she is a woman of color.
As you can see, Biden’s selection leaves a ton of questions. The above are only a few of them. I’m sure you have more of your own. Won’t you be glad when this year is over?
“Fall football decisions—Intellectual, Emotional, and Financial?”
Because of the covid dangers, let’s face it, it probably makes more sense to cancel or postpone the college football season until Spring. No way can social distancing be practiced playing football. And, why should educational institutions endanger the lives and health of their players for the sake of a game?
One of the bad things is they don’t know what all the after-effects of the disease are. They have seen heart problems, lung problems, and others. Who knows what else might surface? Do we risk the lives and futures of students for the sake of football?
College football is my favorite sports season of the year. Watching the good and bad moments year after year, the upsets, the surprises, the disappointments, and the championships and near misses are all part of the mix.
Who will ever forget the look on the face of the U of M student a couple of years ago when a ball was picked up and run into the end zone for a last second touchdown and win for Sparty?
The poor kid held his face with both hands and stared with wide open eyes and mouth. I know darned well that young man will never live it down. It’s moments like that which make the game so much fun to watch. If we do have football this year, moments like that are a non-issue because there won’t be any fans at the games.
According to Ma Google, the Big 10 conference brought in $759 million in football revenue for the fiscal year of 2018—MSU brought in $85 million last year itself. That’s a lot of money. I heard someplace that football brings in 80% of the sports proceeds during the season paying for coaches, travel, equipment, uniforms, scholarships, etc. etc. etc.
Is all that money worth taking a chance on the health and lives of the players? Personally, I don’t think so, but what do I know? And, what happens to national championships if some major teams play in the fall while others play in the Spring or not at all?
Whatever decisions are made in the next few weeks for all the various teams and conferences, I’m confident and hopeful the powers that be will look at all three areas and choose what is best for the students, the school, and the sport.
End the Violence
What is going on and why? Maybe it’s my imagination, but it seems like the past year has been more violent than at any time in my memory. Between the riots, racist encounters, and shootings, it has gotten bad. One has to wonder what is causing it.
Early this past week was a prime example. Two local half-brothers had a chance to meet up and celebrate. One was from a different state and had just arrived.
He dropped off his kids at Grandma’s and headed out with his brother. In less than an hour, both brothers were shot and died. One was 31, the other was 32, and the shooter was 31.
Think about it. Three young lives destroyed for who-knows-why.
And, they aren’t the youngest. Recently, someone shot up a house one night and a young child was killed in her bed. Another one recently happened when a shooter blasted away at a car during a road rage incident and killed a little boy. You heard it right, road rage.
Think about it. What would a person have to do on the highway to make you chase the car down and start shooting at it? Oh, maybe he pulled in front of you and slowed you down? Or, maybe he was driving slowly in the left-hand lane and you couldn’t pass. Boy, that would really want to make you shoot up the car. Who cares if the driver has passengers?
Then there was the incident a few months back where some idiot was shooting at cars from the side of the road somewhere between Howell and Detroit. Why? And then, of course, there’s the classic that happened a while back where some teens were dropping rocks off a bridge onto cars. That one wasn’t road rage; it was teenage stupidity.
Which brings us back to the original question. What is going on in society that is causing a national frame of mind that thinks violence of any kind is OK?
I’m not going to go on a political rant, but a lot of people who I talk to are thinking along those lines. Is it caused by offensive comments made by the President? Is it the refusal of the lib-tards and con-tards to work together? Is it an engrained rioter mentality which makes one thing think they can destroy and steal at will? Or, is it a combination of all?
I don’t’ know what is causing all the violence, but I sure do wish people would pull their heads out and start thinking instead of reacting. Let’s see if we can’t start working together and try to solve the nation’s problems like adults. Sane “Adults” do not destroy, loot, and kill people at will and just because somebody ticked you off.
Covid vs Sports
As we go into the fall season, the sporting world is getting more and more interesting. Will the 60-game baseball season get completed? What about football and basketball along with lacrosse, hockey, soccer, etc. etc.
As of yesterday, the Detroit Tigers have had their next four games postponed due to the fact that the St. Louis Cardinals have had more players and staff tested positive for the virus. They do get to continue their season after the four-day hiatus, but what I’m wondering about is why doesn’t St. Louis have to quarantine for fourteen days? Everybody else does when they come into contact with infected people.
Now the Lion’s quarterback, Matthew Stafford, has tested positive. What does that do for the team’s preparation for the season? He’s not the only one. There have been numerous NFL personnel who have tested positive.
So, how does all of this play out with the colleges and high schools? If one’s educational institution is going to have classes via social media, are they going to allow sports? For some reason or the other, I fail to see how social distancing and tackle football are compatible.
Let’s just hope a vaccine is developed ASAP. With practically every country working on the problem it might be resolved sooner than later. Keep your fingers crossed.
Rioting in the Cities
For the life of me, I don’t understand the concept behind rioting and destruction of private property just because you’re angry. I could care less about your politics or opinions, because, let’s face it opinions are like certain anatomical structures—everyone has their own.
What I don’t understand is the thought process involved in changing a peaceful process into destruction where small, independent businesses are smashed into, looted, and destroyed. How does this help your cause? As much as possible, I always try to go to independent stores, restaurants, etc. Even my housekeeper is an independent and not part of a “business.”
All of these people are struggling enough without being trashed, looted, and burned. Many don’t know if they are going to be able to survive this pandemic or not. My favorite breakfast hangout threw in the towel when the state shut down the first time. They had recently done a full-fledged remodeling just a few months before the onset.
When they put on their FB page that they were permanently closing, they indicated that there was no way they could pay their bills with takeout only. Today it stands all boarded up with a sign on the wall about an upcoming auction. If it had been trashed, there couldn’t even be an auction.
Last week I talked to the owner of my other local restaurant hangouts. There had been some discussion that the governor might shut the state down again if the virus didn’t hurry up and taper off. She told me they’d never survive another shutdown. They were barely making it as it is at half capacity.
So, what can the rioters and looters possibly gain by destroying businesses? I guess my point is, whatever your position is that makes you think you need to destroy private property, I’m automatically against your point of view—whatever it is. Period!
“Defunding the Police is Step 4 in the Process”
Defunding the police might be a great idea, but there are some other things that have to be done first. The first thing is to erase all laws on the books. If there is no one around to enforce them, they are irrelevant. Besides, think of the money it would save.
According to Ma Google, in 2015 it cost the state of Michigan almost $36,000 a year to incarcerate a prisoner. With no laws, we’ll have to turn everyone loose. THINK of the millions a year it would save if we had no prisons. Not only that, we could have an outdoor celebration and beer party as we imploded every prison like the Palace of Auburn Hills was a few days ago.
Next, we can eliminate traffic lights, stop and/or yield signs, speed limits and all that crap. After all, they were just installed to give the cops something to blame you for if and when you get into an accident. Now you’ll be able to drive 140 MPH on the highways with absolutely no concern. Push the pedal to the metal and away you’ll go. It might cost a little more for gas, but so what? You’ll be using a stolen credit card anyway. No police, no laws, gotta love it.
Think of all the positives. The bullies, criminals, arsonists, house breakers, thieves, murderers etc., etc., etc. of the world will be eliminated. And talk about population control. No longer will we have to hear about overcrowding and, or shortages. There’ll be plenty of everything for everyone who happens to be left.
The former police and prison guards have built in jobs to replace the ones they lost. They can drive body trucks to pick up the remains of everyone killed off. If you shoot somebody, you’ll have to drag the body to the curb so they can be picked up on a weekly basis. Again, this would have to be a recommendation and not a law. Otherwise, you’ll have to dispose of the bodies on your own.
So, like I said at the beginning, defunding the police might be a great idea, or not.
“The 2020-2021 School Year”
Oh boy, am I ever glad I’m not teaching or making educational decisions for the coming school year. How are you going to enforce social distancing and mask wearing with a bunch of adolescents?
First off, are you going to have half the class in school for three days in week one and two days in the second? On their off days are they going to be keyed into the class on Zoom? Yeah, I’m sure that will work. As many parents posted on FB, home schooling their kids at the end of the last school year worked REAL well. The kids ended up playing games or refusing to do what they were supposed to be doing.
If a kid has a question about an assignment, how do you get to him/her immediately and try to resolve the issue? I guess if the problem is asking you to find “X” in the problem, the kid does like I would do and draw an arrow to it.
What do you do when Melanie walks into class, sits down, and takes off her mask because it messes up her hair? Do you kick her out when she refuses to put it back on because of her Constitutional right to endanger the whole school? Would that end up disrupting the entire class hour for the day? I’m sure the results would work out real well.
What about Alphonso who suddenly develops a dry cough when you pull the sneak quiz out of the drawer? Do you ignore it? Do you pull the fire alarm, evacuate the school, and spend a day sanitizing the entire place? Or, do you make everyone, including Alph, take the test and hope you haven’t contributed to a Covid outbreak for the entire school—or at least the half of the students who are there that day.
As I said in the beginning, I would hate to be in that position in today’s world. Let’s hope this virus disappears real soon. Come on, scientists, find the cure. I’ll be first in line to get the shot.
“I’ve Gone Crazy?”
I know you’re going to find this hard to believe, but there are people out there who accuse me of going nuts. Why? Because I provide giveaways on Amazon almost every week for one of my thirteen literary masterpieces. They always tell me about how much money I’m losing.
Well, there’s another side of the story. Over time there have literally been hundreds of books downloaded for free. If ten percent of the people who download the freebies actually read them, that still gives me hundreds of my books actually read by someone.
My biggest wish is that the people who read them would go through the trouble of reviewing them on Amazon. The more people who review the books, the higher up the food chain I go at Amazon.
Let’s face it. Money is not the object for me when it comes to writing. I do it to entertain myself and anyone else who actually enjoys them. I think the biggest kick I get is when someone private messages me and says, “Hey! I did that. You stole that idea from me.” Love it when that happens. And, let’s face it. After teaching adolescents for 35 years, they gave me a lot of memories to use while developing a story.
And, to be perfectly honest, all thirteen books are fictional stories based on real life incidents that have been skewed so no one would probably ever recognize the real event. Anyway, the gist of this rant stands. Money is not the object. I just want people to read and enjoy—and don’t forget to wear your mask while doing so.
This last week the Supreme Court ruled against the plan to shut down DACA. (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) In plain English, that means, at least for now, that the government cannot deport something like 800,000 young people who were brought to the US illegally as children.
Let’s forget about politics for a minute because I could care less if you’re a leftist or a rightist. Let’s look at this from a humanitarian aspect. We’re talking about children who were under 16 and arrived prior to 2007. That means the oldest of these kids have lived over half their lives in the US. They have grown up living and being Americans. According to my source, 90 percent of them have jobs, half are in school, and many don’t even speak the language or know the culture of their home countries.
Again, the source indicates that over 100 business groups including Apple and Microsoft want to preserve DACA because so many of their employees are an integral part of their work staffs. Many of these people are teachers, nurses, doctors, farmers, and entrepreneurs.
Supposedly during the Supreme Court arguments last fall, the court was told that around 27,000 of these people work in the medical field as dentists, pharmacists, physician assistants, home health aides, technicians, and medical students—many of whom are working to aid in the Coronavirus epidemic.
So, again, we are going to take a person who was brought here as a child, has a Social Security number, a job, in school, paying taxes, and just throw them out of the country because of something their parents did 15 or so years ago? I hope not. I hope Congress creates a bill making DACA permanent.
Wednesday I went to the barbershop for the first time since the second week of February. Fifteen minutes later I walked out feeling like a new person. I had tried going on Tuesday, but when I walked in the door, there were 11 people waiting and both barbers were clipping away. So, I left. When I walked in Wed. I got right in.
Now, I do have a question. I was the only one in the place with a mask on, and mine fell off when the barber was clipping my beard so I held it until finished. I put it back on, paid my bill along with a hefty tip, and left. The three barbers all had masks sitting on the counter, and not one was wearing one. Should I have asked the person to put it on? Probably, but I didn’t want to come across looking like a jerk or prude.
The same night I went to one of our locally owned restaurants for the first time since this whole thing started. Every single person in the place had on a mask. The waiters, cooks, and bartender had masks and gloves. Most, but not all of the customers, walked in wearing masks as well. Paper, throwaway menus were used, and there were no condiments on the table. Glass partitions separated the booths. When a person left a table to leave and go home, the whole area was completely sanitized.
Now, which of the two local establishments will I feel more comfortable going back to right away? It doesn’t take a brain surgeon to figure out that one.
“Defunding the Police?”
Hopefully, defunding the police was just a poor choice of words, but I wonder. However, some communities have actually talked about eliminating their local police departments. One argument I heard was, “We have the sheriff’s department and the state police. What else do we need?” Oh, boy. I can see it all now.
All the pudgy rednecks in their blue jeans, suspenders, and AK 47s wandering around the streets ‘protecting’ us. I know, that’s probably an exaggeration, but… Police departments don’t need to be defunded, they perform a myriad of duties—dealing with crime, domestic violence, lost individuals whether children or dementia-stricken seniors, accident scenes, murders, and on-and-on the list goes.
A neighboring community announced that they were going to remove the school’s police officer from schools to address racial inequality. What” That’s the biggest line of BS going. They are there to help resolve those kinds of issues.
Maybe some of that money that people believe is being wasted could go for more vetting of people applying for police school, more training to current officers, and the weeding out of racists and undesirables.
Pure Class Act: On another topic, because of the hot, dry weather, I visited three cemetery sites yesterday to do some watering of flowers. On one grave a geranium had been dug out and stolen and on another in a different cemetery, a wave petunia had been stolen. How’s that for class? On the other hand, when we decorating the graves a couple of days before Memorial Day, a group were putting out flags on the veteran’s graves. One of the workers placed a penny on my kid’s grandfather’s headstone from the other side of the family. He was a WW11 vet. The penny was still there today when I replaced the stolen flowers. I smiled when I saw it.
“Have I Gone Crazy?”
There are some things out there that I just do not understand. For instance, how does destruction of businesses, looting, starting fires, waving AK 47s, and attacking people do anything positive for the cause? Eliminating racism and police brutality is the cause, how does any of the above help solve the problem?
There was an Internet pic this morning of a lady racing out of a store she had just looted carrying something like diapers. There have been multiple images of police cars being tipped over and burned. Bricks are being thrown through windows and at police officers. I don’t give a rip what your politics are, destruction is not the answer.
I’ll be the first to admit, I never realized how bad things were for the minority segments of our society. I know they’ve never been good, but they are apparently a lot worse than I thought.
I have a good friend who lives about a block from me who taught math in a neighboring district from mine. One day about fifteen years ago I happened to be following him down Grand River in western Lansing. He was driving about five miles under the speed limit in a place where I couldn’t pass. Naturally, I had to give him a hard time for it the next time I saw him.
His response was simply, “Hey, I was merely DWB.” I had no idea what he was talking about until he explained that it meant, “Driving while Black.” When he explained the harassment, Black drivers went through when stopped by the police, I thought he was exaggerating. I was wrong. Jesse, I apologize because it took me fifteen years to realize it. I hope the peaceful protests wake people up and make a difference. All lives matter.
“Fourth Birthdays are Special”
This past weekend was special. On Saturday I participated in a drive-by for one of my great grandsons’ 4th birthday. That was fun because I got to see and wave at three and 6 ninths of my greats living there who I have not seen up close for three months—even if it were for just a minute.
Then on Sunday, to make it even more special, I celebrated my 4th birthday. How is that possible you ask? Easy. It was four years ago that morning that I flatlined in the emergency room at Sparrow. After 8 zaps I finally decided to stay alive long enough for them to rush me into surgery and stuff a couple of stents in the artery known as the “Widow Maker.” So, in my head, that was the day I was born for the second time.
During the Coronavirus we have heard time-after-time about the miracles the people on the front line manage to pull off every day. Well, let’s remember it’s not just for virus patients. It’s for everyone. One of my favorite memories was on my third day in ICU, one of the nurses who had been working on me came up to visit. She had been off work a couple of days and checked to see if I were still alive when she came back to work. She sat down beside me, held my hand, and told me all the gruesome details about what had happened in the emergency room.
No way did she have to do that, but she cared and was willing to share. She was and is one of my heroes whom I will never forget. Thanks to all of you first responders for what you do each and every day.
Checking Facebook this morning, I always start with the “most recent” posts just to see what people are up to in the morning. After scanning for a few, I went back to the beginning and started counting. Of the first 50 posts, 47 were re-posts of something either political—federal and or state rants about politicians, rules, etc., or something else negative. There were only three of people just checking in and saying what they were up to at the start of the holiday weekend.
What I found particularly nerve wracking this morning was on one of the news blurbs of how suicides have sky rocketed during the pandemic. Sure, I understand people being stressed out during the stay-at-home, face masks, social distancing, etc., so that’s why we need to stay as positive as we can. Read your books, work puzzles, watch movies on TV, do like my neighbor and play your piano for hours on end, go for a walk, work in your garden, but for God’s sake, try to stay optimistic that this too will pass. Some day we’ll look back and say, “Wow! That was horrible, but I made it.”
Stay safe, be smart, and do something fun—even if it’s experimenting with your recipes trying to cook something “different.”
Yesterday the President’s personal valet tested positive for the Coronavirus. Today, one of the Vice President’s staffers tested positive. Now, that might be such a big deal if either the President or VP would wear a mask. However, neither of them thinks they should have to because they get tested every day.
Feel free to correct me if I’m wrong, but if I’m tested this morning and am OK, that doesn’t mean I can’t be infected by someone I am close to this afternoon. Both of these men have been to all kinds of public events and or businesses without their masks.
When the media shows their pictures, what kind of message does that send to the population as a whole? This morning after the VP’s staffer was shown positive, several of his aides were taken off a flight he was getting ready to leave on, but he and several others left for their original destination. Will they infect a new group of people?
Now, the thought that ran through my mind when I heard the news this morning is, what if both men get too sick to temporarily function in their rolls? That will leave Nancy Pelosi as acting President until one of them gets well enough to function again. How will the hardline Democrats and Republicans react to that one? Oh boy, I can see it all now. Won’t we get a lot accomplished?
“The ultimate demonstration of stupidity”
I’ve been grousing with myself for a week about saying anything about this, but poorer judgment won out, so here goes. Last week during the latest protest at the capital building here in Lansing where the majority were not adhering to social distancing, face masks, and many were openly carrying all kinds of weapons, I saw the photo several times of a lady right in the middle of the crowd with a little boy—maybe 4 or 5 years old—and pushing a baby carriage.
I could care less what your opinions are on whether the governor is a dictator or using science and mathematics along with common sense trying to stem the tide of this virus. Keep in mind the old cliché, ‘Opinions are like you-know-what, everyone has their own.’
When there is something so viral as Covid 19 out there where there is no cure or vaccination to fix it, why would you risk the lives of your tiny children? And, uh, did you have bullet proof vests on them like the congressmen were wearing inside the capital? Are you trying to make a point that you think it’s a hoax? Fine, risk your own life and take your own chances, but not those of your kids.
I read somewhere the other day that a number of people who participated in the protest about a month ago have come down with the virus. Truth or fake news? Don’t know, don’t care. Why would the story be printed by reliable sources if there was ‘nothing’ to it? However, I guess that doesn’t matter either. I’m sure her gut was telling her that it was all fake. I just hope her kids don’t die because of her stupidity.
“The ultimate way to spend the lockdown”
Bored with the stuff I had been reading, I started a new project. I decided to read all 13 of my literary masterpieces pretty much in order. I have finished all 11 novels and am now reading book one of the two short story books. I’ve been doing this, not as a look-in-the-mirror adoration thing, but to see if I could get motivated to start writing again. Since the pandemic, I’ve done nothing along those lines.
Now, the interesting thing in my mind is the fact that I have repeated certain scenes in a couple of different books. Obviously, that was unintentional, but it worked out that way. I’m sure that the vast majority of people who have read them all probably never noticed, but reading them all within a month or so, I did.
There’s a reason for that, I think. Like I’ve told anyone who ever asked, most of what happens in the books are keyed off of real-life memories. Like I’ve mentioned before, during my first 15 years of teaching, we didn’t have counselors in the middle school. Therefore, when a kid had something that was troubling him or her, they would go talk to one of their teachers. Since I had a pretty good relationship with most of my wrestlers, a lot of the things are stories they talked to me about. Some of them left a stronger impression than others and is probably why they were repeated. So, don’t blame me, blame those of you who were adolescents a half century ago.
“Now the virus is political?”
OMG, now the Coronavirus is a political issue? I can’t believe that the President and governors are fighting over who is in charge and responsible for opening up the states again. Why aren’t they both working together to cure this thing, find a medication that works, and a vaccination? And what about making sure there are adequate supplies and testing equipment?
I bet those people’s families who have loved ones’ bodies stored in the refrigerated trucks in New York could give a crap less whose ego gets stoked when this thing is finally over. I know I won’t.
Worrying right now about who is to blame is useless. Learn from past mistakes for when a new crisis evolves, and just solve the problem!
“Life is so exciting right now”
Today is day 12 of total self-quarantine. What an exciting time it is. I start out the day checking emails, credit cards, bank accounts, etc. just to see if any of you sent me a pile of money. Then, after that I have my delicious breakfast of Raisin Bran and toast. Then, I read every article in the State Journal even if I did see it on one of the news programs last night. Got your blood flowing yet? What a way to start the day!
It only gets better from there. After I wake up from dozing off while reading the paper, I go and ride my stationary bike for a half hour. At least I’m getting some exercise. On a couple of day when it was reasonably warm and the sun was out, I actually went for a walk. The excitement heightens when a person walking towards me and I zig and zag deciding which one of us is going to cross the street to keep current on our social distancing.
Now, I know this is old school big time, but over the weekend, I opened the garage door and started the car and let it run for a few minutes to make sure the battery stayed charged. There was a time back in the day if you didn’t start your car for a week, the battery ran out of juice and you had to jump start it.
If nothing else, I’ve caught up on some reading. I finally finished “A Very Stable Genius” which was too long and a bit repetitive and two issues of “Writer’s Digest” which I had been procrastinating on. Haven’t done any writing—guess I haven’t had the time with my busy schedule.
So, after watching 3-4 hours of Corona Virus news casts on TV and a couple of naps, so goes my extremely exciting day. I hope yours is at least close to being as exhilarating as mine.
This morning the owner of my locally owned and operated breakfast hangout put out a notice on Facebook that they were closing permanently. Between two locations, they have been open for over 20 years. Now they’re gone. How many other family owned businesses will we lose forever?
At noon today the governor issued a stay-at-home order for the state. You can leave your house for groceries, prescriptions, gas, medical reasons, takeout dining, and that’s about it. If your business isn’t considered essential to the welfare of the population, you are closed. The order goes through April 13th. Unless extended. Who knows what will happen?
I couldn’t believe the number of kids on the beaches celebrating Spring break. I wonder how many of them will contact the virus, take it home, and end up killing off their elderly parents and grandparents? Wouldn’t you love to be the parent of the one kid they interviewed who “might” have had a beer or two too many who commented that he could care less about the virus, he was going to party. Those are his exact words, but that was the message.
Like you’ve heard about a million times now, stay home, keep your distance from other people, and wash you hands about three-hundred times a day.
“So, what do we do part 2?”
My normal breakfast hangout is always closed on Monday, so I go to one of the chain restaurants that is always busy, but I like their food. When I pulled into the parking lot, I wondered if they were even open. I only saw two other cars in there.
I walked into the place and asked if they were open, and they welcomed me with open arms. My waitress told me about the latest. All restaurants and bars in Michigan are closing today at three except for takeout service. Yipes! So much for my breakfast and dinner ritual.
Yesterday I went to the store to get in my walk for the day and on a whim bought up something like 10 turkey pot pies and 18 frozen chicken sandwiches. So, when I left the restaurant, I stopped by the supermarket and loaded up on enough stuff where I should be good for a month.
I called the cardio gym and asked them if they were open. He told me that as of that moment, they were. But, no guarantees for how much longer. The hospital itself if essentially closed to visitors. I chatted with him for a minute and asked for his honest opinion, should I go to the gym or stay home and ride my stationary bike? Sort of on the sneaky side, he suggested I stay home, ride my stationary bike, and go for a walk in the fresh air.
So, what it boils down to, I’m in hibernation status until further notice. Hopefully, with everything that’s been done to prevent the spread of the Coronavirus which started with the sports world shutting down all Spring tournaments and sports, this too will pass and we won’t end up as another Italy or China.
“So, what do we do?”
The Corona virus is leaving me in a quandary. I have changed my life style to some extent. I have decided to avoid crowds as much as possible, not shake hands, (Elbow bumps work fine) and spend more time at home hibernating in the house. I’ve been getting a lot more reading done.
However, I refuse to live my life in fear. I went out to breakfast this morning alone at my favorite hangout because my usual Friday friends texted me last night that they were going to avoid restaurants until this whole thing blows over. I certainly understand their concerns and told them so, but I’m not to completely shut down my way of life.
While I was at the restaurant this morning, the owner sat down with me a minute and chatted. I had asked her if business had tanked the past week or so. She said it was definitely down, but they were doing everything possible to keep open. They had done a major renovation a few months ago and are paying $1,100 a month on that and had to keep going.
She told me they wipe down the door handles to everything several times a day, and they even put a sign on the door asking people to wash their hands in the bathroom when they enter the restaurant. People watcher that I am, I was there for an hour and a half, and I’m the only one who actually read the sign and did it. When the owner’s son put the sign up yesterday, he showed it to me and asked if I thought it was offensive. I told him no, I hoped people followed the request.
I understand shutting down the schools, sporting events, (No Big 10 BB tournament is going to kill me), parades, even a two-year-old’s birthday party, but some things I’m not going to do. I am not going to desert family owned businesses out of fear. I just hope we all survive this thing physically and financially. (I checked my mutual funds this morning. Ouch! The kid’s inheritance is tanking big time.)
I could get very used to spending the winters like I have the past few weeks here in FL. Staying with relatives who spoil me rotten is the best part. The second best part is the weather. We have averaged 40-50 degrees warmer than you poor souls up there in Michigan. Would you believe we’ve had the air conditioning on almost every day?
Another nice thing about this gated community I’m hanging out in is they have a cardio gym a 12 minute walk away from the house. I have gone down there every day since I’ve been here. I have the 50 minute workout routine, so add the stretches, and two-way walk, I’m getting in a heck of a lot more exercise that I do when I’m home. Good grief! At this rate, I’ll last forever. Poor world…
The only bad part is, I have been doing zero writing. I’ve been fighting writer’s block for a couple of months now, and the world hasn’t even come to an end. So, I guess it’s no big deal. Maybe when I get back home I’ll get back in the groove, or maybe not. We’ll see.
“Tigers and More”
I went to another Detroit Tiger game yesterday, and the end results were the same—they lost. At least the score was close. They only lost by one run. When we went on the 24th, they lost 8-1. I know, I know, these games are made up of mostly minor-leaguers trying to find on the roster, but so far, I haven’t been too impressed.
You wouldn’t believe the traffic and the way people drive. We’ve seen the aftermath of several accidents. One yesterday had three ambulances and they were working on some guy at the side of the road in the grass. He was flat on the ground and the paramedics were hovered all around him. Didn’t look good.
The drivers are nuts. Speeding, tail gaiting, cutting in and out of lanes, yhou name it. We were tailing along behind a pickup truck yesterday where the driver was either drunk, on drugs, texting, or all of the above. Traffic is three lanes, bumper to bumper, and he is weaving back and forth in and out of his lane. He almost sideswiped one car until the almost victim laid on his horn, and the idiot pulled over.
What doesn’t help the traffic too much is the constant closing of lanes making four merge into three. I know you Michiganders aren’t going to understand this concept, but there is so much road rebuilding and construction of new roads, bridges, etc it really disrupts traffic. The roads that are being worked on are better than anything you’ll see in MI. The closest thing I’ve seen to a rough road is one that had been scraped to make the next layer of asphalt stick to it better I guess. They were finishing up the left lane, and this was the next to be paved again. Smooth roads? Hard for Michiganders to visualize.
“Too Much Friction”
The Democrats had their last debate before Super Tuesday last night. There is one thing in particular that bothers me. They spend too much time cutting each other down. Instead of saying something like, “This is what needs to be done, and this is how I’m going to do it,” They are throwing too many barbs at one another.
I never admit in public to being a die-hard liberal or conservative—and I don’t talk politics with strangers. I tend to be pretty much in the middle. Both parties have things I can buy in to. Both have points that I don’t think are realistic. That’s why I would like to hear not only their positions on the issues, but how they plan to do it.
I suppose some of it could be useful if you’re saying, “ Senator X and I both want health care with pre-existing conditions for all, but I don’t agree with his way of financing it. It’s not practical. This is how I think it should be done.”
Oh well, we have a long time before either party’s conventions so a lot can happen between now and then—hopefully. We pretty much know who the Republican candidate will be, I just don’t want to hate the Democratic candidate because of all of the trash talking and negativity. I’d like to cast my vote for whomever has the best program, not who was the biggest BS artist.
For those of you who missed it on FB, I witnessed something this week most Michiganders probably never see. I’m staying at Lake Wales, FL for three weeks, and the place is aptly named. The area is full of lakes, ponds, and waterways.
Early Wednesday afternoon I was walking down the side of the road. I had just finished my daily cardio workout at the gym, so I was taking my time and enjoying the beautiful weather and scenery.
As I ambled past a large pond which is attached to several other ponds and a rather good sized lake, a 10-12 foot alligator rose up out of the water right at shore line, fighting with a fish that had to be 2-3 feet long. Being maybe 12 feet from the action, I stopped and watched as did three or four cars.
When the gator managed to get a good grip on the fish, he chomped his jaws and you could hear the bones snap, crackle, and pop. Immediately, the prey stopped flailing. Then the gator lifted his head straight up into the air, opened his mouth wide, and swallowed the fish in one gulp.
Now, did I even think to take my phone out of my pocket while all of this was going on and video the event? Of course not--not until a half hour later. By then, I’m afraid it was a little too late.
“I Don’t Want to wish you Michiganders any bad luck, but…”
Tuesday morning I’m out of here for three weeks so you can have your roller-coaster Michigan weather all to yourselves. I’m headed to FL where I hopefully won’t have to worry whether or not I have gas in my snowblower or not. So there!
While I’m there, I might even get into the mood to continue on with my latest literary masterpiece du jour that I have been ignoring. Like, I mean, I did have to pack and get my income taxes off to my tax man—and no, Stephen King doesn’t have to worry about me showing him up this year: maybe next year.
Which brings up another point, how come none of you have been writing reviews on the latest trilogy—I Can and I Will—Tell Me Why—and Finding Closure? Did you get the book, read it, and then throw it in the corner without sending that review to Amazon? Shame be upon you! There are a bunch of you out there who have the books either in paperback or in Kindle, so let’s get busy. Just to be clear, you people who have them on your Nook are not excused. Get busy with your reviews too.
“I Can’t Believe How Stupid People are When it Comes to Driving on Ice and Snow”
My neighborhood in west Lansing is essentially a triangle with two main streets on the northern and southern edge running ‘kinda’ east and west. Then there are multiple side streets running mostly north and south between the two. (Which, incidentally is irrelevant to the rant.)
Near the west end of the southern main street is a moderate S curve. During the summer people drive it in one of two ways, either slowing down and hugging the right edge of the road so when cars suddenly appear coming from the other way, they don’t run them off the road. Or, the other method is to drive a straight line through the S and hope nobody is coming from the other direction.
Needless to say, too many people never slow down. I mean, like, that extra five seconds is pretty crucial. Anyway, the speeding part always becomes more relevant in the winter. There is one spot on the S where cars slide off the road every year and drop down a decline and then have to be towed out. Hopefully, their insurance doesn’t cover their towing fees.
I would hate to be the owner of the one particular home where it usually happens because his curbside mail box gets taken out at least once a year. This year, they have been lucky. When the car blew out of control two weeks ago, it missed the box by just about a foot. I happened to go by as the tow truck was hauling him out. Couldn’t help but smile. Sucker!
This week somebody else couldn’t be bothered to slow down and wiped out the mailbox and ended up about twenty to thirty feet into the person’s yard. Poor guy, I bet his beer was just as cold that he was racing home to two hours earlier and a $1,000 richer than it would have been if he’d slowed down and taken the curve sanely—wasting a whole 15 seconds.
“Politics and Facebook”
Two days ago I opened up Facebook and scrolled for a while. Not believing what I was seeing, I went back to the beginning and started counting. Of the first twenty entries, sixteen were political. Now, these weren’t just people giving their opinions, they were Photoshopped lies that people repost time after time.
The thing that most amazes me is the fact that people will believe anything. Then, to top it off, they repost it as if it were the Gospel truth. Doesn’t anyone ever check the source of all the BS they put out there? I don’t think so.
I know some people “really” well who believe in the conspiracy theory of everything. If the concept is outrageous and totally unprovable, they believe it. So, when it comes to current politics, if somebody makes a list of what one candidate or the other “supposedly” spewed out or did, they believe it.
Of course, I blame a lot of it on the 24-hour, 7 day a week news stations. They have to cover something around the clock so they bring in all kinds of people who tell you what they “think,” not necessarily what the truth is.
Ah, back to the day when the six o’clock news came on for a half hour to an hour and reported just the basic facts and not a ton of different opinions about what might have happened. Just think, the next election will be over in a short few months, and then we can start all over again—one way or the other.
“Ah, Robo Calls: I love ‘um”
Yesterday was a new one. I was watching a basketball game on TV when the telephone rang. The name and number always show up on screen. Most of the time it gives the name “Anonymous” and some telephone number. Sometimes they’ll actually put a name on it. Well, as I said, yesterday was different. The name and telephone number on screen was mine. What a dilemma! Do I answer it or wait to see if I leave myself a message?
I decided to wait, but darn! I didn’t leave myself a message. When I do answer obvious Robo calls, I normally answer with “Sheriff’s Department, fraud division.” The guys from Bangladesh who want to consolidate my credit cards usually hang up. Of course, the recordings just start talking so I hang up on them.
When I’m really bored and in the “mood,” I answer with “CIA Assassination Squad. Where would you like us to dispose of your body? We always recommend the Dead Sea.” Again, I either get hung up on or a recording which is not fair. I think we should discuss their body disposal. Seems right to me. If they are going to try to waste my time, I might as well waste theirs.
If I’m in my office and Anonymous calls, I punch the button on the printer’s fax machine and let that squeal in their ears. Like, one does have to have some fun.
By the way, if you ever do answer them, make sure you never answer “Yes” if they ask you a question at the beginning. Supposedly, that’s something they record and use it to hack you big time.
“Hummmm! I Wonder”
Interesting. I went to the dentist last week for my semi-annual cleaning and the dentist who checked me over discovered a cavity. My regular dentist has just recently sold the practice but apparently still works two days a week. However, he wasn’t around last week. He’s taking a break.
Anyway, I had a completely different dentist whom I had never met do the final check after the cleaning. I kept getting a strange vibe about the guy. I got the feeling that he was getting carried away looking for something to do where he could make a buck. I’m probably being unfair, but that was my impression. Anyway, he found a cavity that needed attention and the sooner the better.
Today I went in for my appointment to get the cavity taken care of and a different dentist came in and was going to fix it. He checked it over, looked at the x-rays, compared them with last year’s x-rays, and declared there was nothing wrong with the tooth and did nothing to it—much to my disappointment. I love to have my teeth drilled on so much.
To make a long story short, I grabbed my coat and left. I’ll see them again in six months when it’s time for my next cleaning—unless I decide to find a new dentist.
“Ah, Thy Name is Oblivious”
As an inveterate people watcher, I get my jollies watching people in stores and crowded places. Three days a week I go to the Cardio Gym across from the hospital, and then two to three times a week I go to Sam’s Club to get in my cardio walk. That’s where I get an eyeful.
This past Thursday was a perfect example. I passed three carts in the aisles where ladies’ purses sat in the cart unattended. The owners of two of the purses were at least thirty feet from their cart. The owner of the third purse was no where in sight. When I see those, I always have the urge to hid the purse under the various packages in the person’s cart, but since stores are loaded with cameras, I’d probably end up in jail.
Another one that was a bit nerve wracking this week was when I passed a cart with a maybe 1-2-year-old toddler standing up in an otherwise unattended cart. I took a hold of the child by his arm and casually mentioned in my somewhat louder and gruffer than normal school-teacher voice, “Hey there, little guy, you really should sit down. If you fell, that cement floor would hurt awfully badly.” Fortunately, Mom, who was only a half aisle away came racing up and scooped junior up in her arms, thanking me profusely. I didn’t say a word. I didn’t have to.
Another form of obliviousness I find in the stores are the people who park their carts in the middle of the aisle so you can’t get around them without asking them “politely” if you could get around them. Of course, it is kind of fun to ram their cart and push it out of the way and then watch their dirty looks. I mentioned that one to someone earlier today, and they told me about a shouting match that ensued between and old man and younger woman. He moved her cart, and she had a conniption fit over it. The person telling me the story thought the lady was going to smack the guy.
So, those of you who are totally oblivious to your surroundings, keep in mind some old duffer is watching and making fun of you behind your back.
Voila! I didn’t need a 12 or 16-year-old to fix my computer problem, I needed an old duffer who knows about as much about computers as I do these days.
Just to refresh your memory, I got a new computer and wanted to use the cloud so I could work on the same document from either my office computer, or the lap top that I leave on the kitchen counter or drag into the living room, plop it on my lap, and work on one of my literary masterpieces such as “Irrelevant Rants” while watching one of my favorite Detroit professional sporting teams get clobbered.
Anyway, the cloud was not syncing between the two computers—much to my chagrin. Who knows how many hours I put in trying to make the &^%$ thing work? I’ve been playing with this in all my spare time for two weeks to no avail.
Well, I whined about my problem to this really old guy—one of my kids, and he decided to come over and take a look. We played with it for four hours when he suddenly had an inspiration. He said, “I’m going to see if I can uninstall it and then reinstall it and see what happens. Ta da! It worked perfectly. The One Drives (Cloud) are now synced on both computers and all is well and good.
Lesson for the day—we don’t always need juveniles—delinquent or otherwise to figure out our modern-day multimedia problems. Sometimes even “old” guys can figure out what to do.
And now, back to book 1—Mat Rats, which might get done in 2020 after all.
OK, So I was Wrong. I Guess I Need a 12 Year Old”
Life was so much easier back in the old days before senility set in. Believe it or not, there was a time when I actually knew what was going on with computers. Not any more. So, here’s the problem du jour.
Since I have two computers, I decided I really wanted to use the cloud so I could bounce back and forth between the computers while working on a document. For instance, I’m “kind of” in the middle of book 14 and there are times when I get a brilliant idea and want to run out to the computer in the kitchen and make a quick change without going down to my office.
Also, in about a month I will be sneaking off to FL for three weeks and want to be able to work on whatever while I’m gone. For instance, can you even fathom going three whole weeks without an updated Irrelevant Rant? Horrors!
So, both computers were set up with the cloud and all worked great for about a week. Then, out of nowhere, the two decided not to sync with each other. They have the same files, but they don’t update. When I add something to “Irrelevant Rants” for instance, it saves on my office computer’s One Drive (Cloud) just fine, but it doesn’t sync to the computer’s One Drive in the kitchen.
Naturally, the “Kid” who will be 7 on Feb. 29th (The fact he claims he’ll be 28 is irrelevant) and set this up for me has gone back to the state of Washington and can’t help—especially since he’s been ignoring my emails😊 So, I checked with Tony-2 the sixteen-year old adolescent dreamer or entrepreneur I talked about a couple of weeks ago. Tony-2 had no clue. So, either I find a 12-year-old who knows what he’s doing or shell out the big bucks and get some pro to come in and bail me out. Of course, if one of you happen to know what I’m doing wrong, you could email me at [email protected] and help the old duffer out.
“I Need to Borrow a Sixteen-Year-Old”
Santa was way too good to me this year. Along with a ton of other great stuff, I ended up with a new computer and a total of three screens. Well, I’ve figured out the screen configurations, but then comes the problem. I’m saving everything to the cloud instead of the hard drive so I can work off multiple computers without having to use flash drives.
Over the years I’ve managed to end up with multiple files of each and every document. For instance, I’ve found six different files of “Irrelevant Rants” containing six different dates. So, what I’m trying to do is find the newest docs, get them all in one folder, and delete the older versions.
Should be a no brainer, right? Wrong! The final editions of the thirteen books are no biggie. They are all the same. Somehow, I’ve managed to end up with something like four or five WIP (Works in Progress) folders. There are a couple hundred files in each one with all kinds of different dates. How all of this happened, I really have no clue except it has to be at least partially due to working on a lot of files on two different computers and having to move the things around on flash drives.
When I get the latest version of EVERYTHING in the appropriate place on the Cloud drive, and all the excess deleted, it should be a piece of cake. Since Christmas I’ve probably put in ten hours and have barely made a dent in what I’ve got to do. Ohhhhh, I need a genius teenager.
Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Kwanzaa, happy whatever it is you celebrate and whenever you do it.
My primary holiday wish this year is that people could get off the far left and right fringes and come together for the betterment of the country. I don’t think we need to be name calling and belittling each other even though those of you who don’t agree with me are nuts:-)
Seriously, I’m concerned where we are headed for as a nation. For the past eleven years when one unnamed politician made the comment that it was the number one goal of his party to make sure that the new president would not be reelected, neither party has worked together for the betterment of the country. It’s been politics first, country second—at least that’s the way I see it. Hopefully, in the coming year let’s wish for both parties to moderate their views and try to work together a bit. After all, the good ole US of A comes before anyone’s ego.
In the meantime, let’s finish off 2019 with smiles on our faces and optimism for a better 2020.
Some Things We Don’t Want to Know are the $$$ We’ve Wasted
Over the weekend, I was looking for some peppermint oil that I thought I still had stuffed in the cupboard. I use it every year when I make chocolate, almond bark for Christmas and figured I should make sure I was prepared.
For some reason or the other, I looked at the expiration date on something on the spice rack—2014. Ooops! So, I started checking things out. Every single bottle and container in there was supposed to be used by 2017 or earlier. Some of the stuff even went back as 2012 or had no date on it at all. One five pound sack of flower that had never been opened was dated 2016.
To make all of this worse, I didn’t even know what half the stuff was or what it was used for. Sure, the chili powder, cinnamon, allspice, garlic salt & powder, and nutmeg I knew. However, turmeric, saffron, cumin, basil, caraway, oregano, rosemary, thyme, etc??? I had no clue.
Two hours later, I had the cupboards and refrigerator pretty much empty. Being the good trooper I am, I emptied all of the containers so I could recycle them. Have any idea what a pain it is to try to clean out some of that crap? I even found one half empty jar of raspberry jam that had set up like a rock and did not want to come out of the container. I won!
The bottom line is, I do not want to know how much money I threw away over those couple of hours. On a positive note, there are a lot of waitresses and waiters out there who know me pretty well. Oh, one more thing. I do have to go out and buy a new bottle of peppermint oil.
So, when’s the last time you checked the dates on all the junk in your cupboards and frig?
Adolescent Dreamer or Unique Entrepreneur?
Tony-2 is a real-live 16 year-old young man with a dream. That is not his real name, but it's what I call him. (He knows why, and you don’t need to.)
Tony-2 works as a busboy in a restaurant and has many jobs—cleaning and setting up tables, pouring coffee, wiping up spills, and more. Sometimes when it’s not too busy, he even has a brief minute to chat. That’s where I come in. After 35 years of teaching middle and high school, I like to talk with the kids.
One day I asked him what his plans were once he graduated from high school. Did he plan to attend a trade school, go to college, or what? What he told me kind of threw me off guard for a short while.
He said that he wanted to become a barber, and his best friend wanted to open a shoe store. So, they planned to open a combined barber shop and shoe store. My initial thought was, Oh boy! If only I could be 16 again and live in a fantasy world.
However, the more I thought about it, the more intriguing the idea became. For instance, I have two people in my own family who are complete shoe nuts. They are a father-son combination so it’s obviously a genetic quirk. The ten-year-old probably has thirty pairs of shoes and doesn’t bat an eye when you mention the fact that the new ones he wants this week costs over $200. His father’s shoe collection runs into the hundreds.
Then I got to thinking. Those two would love a place like that. So, where would a store like that even work? Would it fit in a mall? I don’t think so—mainly chain store customers. Besides, in another ten years there probably won’t be any. What about a shop in a place like downtown Lansing? I don’t like that idea either. It would get lost in the maze.
Then I thought of Old Town. Perfect! For those of you who are unfamiliar with the Lansing area, Old Town is a refurbished section in North Lansing. Most of the businesses are as unique as the neighborhood atmosphere. I’ve often heard it referred to as the cultural and creative district of Lansing. I think most of the shops are individually owned without the clutter of a mass of national chain stores. Not only that, but the place offers a lot of entertainment.
So, why wouldn’t a one-of-a-kind place like a combined barbershop and shoe store fit in there perfectly? I’m betting the ten-year-old mentioned above could get his bright red double-width Mohawk trimmed and find at least two pair of shoes he “needed” within a half hour’s time.
So, Tony-2, there’s your business plan. In a year and a half, you’ll graduate from high school. Then, if this is still your dream, go to Barber’s College, and then you and your buddy can go for it! Good luck!
“Do I Really Want to do This?
I dug a book out of the archives that I wrote 35-40 years ago and never published. I’ve been typing, editing, and making changes as I’ve been putting it on the computer. (Originally written on a manual typewriter) My intent is to update it from its original to current times.
Essentially, it’s about a seventh grade boy who gets cut from the basketball team and then goes out for wrestling. Naturally, all is going to work out well for the kid in the end. The problem is, getting him there. Good grief! I can’t even settle on the title. I have the original—which one of my writing groups doesn’t like because it gives away what is going to happen at the end of the first three chapters. I have a version of the one they suggested, which in my mind, would not attract one twelve-year-old in the world.
Naturally, there are all kinds of other issues. Originally the main character told the story from the 12 year-old point of view. Well, I’ve changed that. I want the same character telling the story, but reminiscing back an unspecified number of years. That means a total re-write as I go.
Another big issue is the last chapter I just finished was almost 100% narrative with almost zero dialogue. Why is this a problem? Probably the biggest mantra for writers today is to “Show, don't tell.” Narrative is essentially telling—which means, I will have to rewrite the entire chapter again and “show” what is going on.
The way I see it, if I continue and complete this thing, it’s probably going to take a total of two years—especially at the rate I’m going. Oh well, I’ll keep plugging away at it until I either finish it or go Ctrl, Alt, Delete.
Back in September I mentioned running across a book called “Spirits Rising” that deals with paranormal ghost stories here in Michigan. Reading them brought back a memory from my childhood. I had a very eerie event happen to me when I was about 12 years old.
My best friend’s family at the time had a cottage at Bear Lake. That summer I was invited up to the cottage for two weeks. We spent most of our time swimming in the lake and screwing around like most 12 year-olds. One night three of us (There was a kid from Chicago our age whose grandparents had a cottage three doors down from us) decided to go skinny dipping. We got so loud someone thought there was a problem and called the police. Needless to say, things got a little embarrassing as my friend’s mother brought all three of us out towels to cover up in and race back into the house. Can you believe it? The cop laughed at us. Hrumph!
Anyway, to get to the main point of the story, one day the three of us walked to town. That’s where it got spooky. I knew the town like the back of my hand. I remember telling my friends about a barber shop right around one of the corners. Sure enough, there was. I recognized every store in the town. Not only that, a number of older people I saw – including the barber looked familiar. I couldn’t put a name with any of them, but I was sure I knew them.
The next summer the three of us met up at Bear Lake again, and when we went to town I still had the same spooky feeling that I knew the place and had lived there. I have intentionally never gone back there again. Those two visits are the only times in my memory that I’ve ever had an experience like that.
However, the curiosity has never left me. I think I have at least ten books on the paranormal on my Kindle that I had completely forgotten about. I think most of them were probably free because they are pretty short. Anyway, I’ve been reading them all again since finding “Spirits Rising” just because…
“Back to Normal”
A couple of weeks ago I mentioned this ton of Kindle version give-aways at Amazon—close to 250 in a three day period. Still have no clue what happened there and probably never will. Oh well, doesn’t matter. In the meantime, things have gone back to normal where 1-10 people are downloading the freebie per week.
Like I mentioned before, some people think I’m nuts for giving away copies when I could just as well be selling them. I don’t see it that way. I have 13 books out there, so that means I can give away each book one weekend apiece every three months.
The way I see it, if a complete stranger downloads one and likes it, he or she is apt to look me up on Amazon and see what else is available. I know I have had numerous sales using that tactic because suddenly a couple of related books (mainly the trilogies) will sell and they haven’t even been advertised for a couple of months—to say nothing about the fact they might be five or six years old.
My main goal is to have people read and enjoy. If that happens, I’m happy. So, if you haven’t downloaded all 13, start paying attention and do a different one weekly. Besides, the more of you who do push my ratings up on Amazon and the books show up better. So there! Get busy. Read…