Thanks to everyone for the birthday wishes, given here, or on FB, or in private messages. Although I’m not a celebrating type, your thoughts and comments are meaningful to me.
- Wore one of my favorite shirts yesterday. I bought it the year we moved to Ashland from Half Moon Bay, 2005. Shortly after moving up here in June, we went back down to the SF Bay area to address some issues, do some shopping, and visit with friends. We stopped in at an odd sale, where a convenience store on Middlefield had been converted to a sale of overstocked items. That’s where I found this shirt. It was bought on a hot day in July, 2005. As one of my favorites, I’ve been photographed in it at work and parties. I’m wearing it in this photo in 2010 with my little sister and her youngest daughter. I’m the one with the facial hair. I know, you can barely see the shirt.
- It’s always odd to me that Lee Greenwood lets Donald Trump use Greenwood’s song, “God Bless the U.S.A.”, at his events. The song has lines that refers to being free and the men who died for that right . Trump has denigrated many military members, past and present, in his speeches and remarks. He holds the statues of the Confederate States of America, which was a nation formed from states who broke away from the United States. After they broke away, they attacked the U.S.A., starting a war in which they killed many Americans. If that doesn’t say enemy and traitor, what does? Beyond that, the C.S.A was fighting a war to keep people enslaved. All of that is the antithesis of what Greenwood’s song is purported to be about. Yeah, makes me wonder. Yeah, me makes me sad and cynical, too.
- Ashland, the little town that I’ve staked out as home, cancelled July 4th fireworks and celebrations cause, COVID, masking, and social distancing. A few fireworks went off but I’m pleased that the town mostly observed it, making it the quietest July 4th in my memory. Meanwhile, we visited with friends in their gazebo, six feet apart and masked, except to eat cupcakes (still six feet apart or more) and consume root beer floats. We noted, though, two of the masks being used by others had valves. I thought they — the health experts — do not recommend masks with vales. One of the participants wore their mask above their mouth and another wore their mask below their nose. I didn’t call them out, the be respectful, but I stayed back, and we were outside. Made me sigh, though; why wear the mask if you’re not going to do it right?
- I’d welcomed July as a positive move, posting to friends, hey, don’t fear July just because the year has been a bit sucky so far this year. This might be the month it all begins turning around. Well, it was like 2020 said, hold my beer, as the next day, I read an article about the Chinese being worried about bubonic plague cases. A resurgence of the black death is all that we need, given how many in the U.S. dismiss the threat of COVID-19 as just another flu, a hoax or conspiracy, refusing to take precautions against the novel coronavirus. God knows what they’ll do if the black plague begins spreading.
- We watched Avengers: Endgame last night. Yeah, all three hours of it. Looonnnggg film. One, good thing we watched it at home, where we could pause it and take bio breaks, and where we could also google info. We were constantly wondering, “Okay, who is that character?” They brought them all back, and we’re not deeply invested in the MCU. After all the hype and reviews, I expected something better. Yes, I know, my cynicism (or my age) is showing. Some of the acting appearances were fun and surprising, but I liked Avengers: Infinity War, Guardians of the Galaxy, and Black Panther much better. To each, right?
Got my coffee. Time to write like crazy, at least one more day.
- Still walking. Sounds like I’m bragging, right? I’m talking about exercising. My progress goes up and down. My 28-day average is just 7.51 miles (sixteen thousand plus steps), with my best being last Thursday, ten and quarter miles. I try to get in more, but stuff. I’m in a heavily hilled area. Examining results with where I walk is interesting. My flights will increase to fifty to sixty a day, and my activity level will increase, but my miles decline. That’s because the steep hills really slow me down. Coming down is less of a physical exertion, but requires a lot from my legs to keep from just pitching forward. Great views, though, and getting the exercise outside is worth it.
- COVID-19. We have people who shunned masking, attending rallies (see Herman Cain and Tulsa), church, and parties, who are now testing positive and being hospitalized. Some, like Cain, had underlying conditions. Cain is seventy-four, and I guess he’s okay with getting sick, possibly going through what others have endured, and dying, but what about spreading it to others, and putting them through it? Yeah, nobody say this coming.
- COVID-19 Redux. Other crazy reports have one, teenagers trying to deliberately contract COVID-19. Let’s play a game and see who can get infected. (Alabama Teens Are Throwing Coronavirus Parties with Cash Rewards for the First to Get Infected.) Oh, the young… Proves that life can be stranger than fiction. Beyond that, some people who are testing positive are refusing to help with tracing. (Party Guests Wouldnt Talk After 9 Tested Positive.) Hit with subpeonas and facing fines of $2000 a day for not helping, they caved. Florida setting new records for their state with ten thousand cases in one day, a one hundred sixty-eight percent rise. Of course, commentators are blaming the protests or riots, and Gov. DeSantis has vowed that Florida wills stay open. Paul Krugman has an interesting threads based on Opentable reservations for Texas, Florida, and Georgia. After reservations rose with re-opening, reservations began declining as positive cases surged. Here in Oregon, cases are rising. Gov. Brown has declared masks mandatory inside businesses, but several sheriffs have declared her policy unconstitutional and have refused to enforce it. I always thought it was up to the courts to decide constitutionally, not the sheriffs, but they know better. Even Oregon State Police aren’t even masking as they enter businesses. To quote one officer who wasn’t wearing a mask, “Fuck Kate Brown.” That’s protecting and serving for ya. Shows why trust and support for police keeps declining; they’re deciding what laws they’ll obey and enforce, and mocking what they don’t like.
- I’m not good at celebrating. My sixty-fourth birthday is this week. As with every year, my wife asked me what I want to do to celebrate. I don’t have an answer. Parties don’t generally entice me. Socializing in general doesn’t entice me. She knows these things about me. I feel pressured to ‘do something’ to celebrate to mollify her.
- Still painting walls. We have high ceilings in the dining-living-kitchen combo. Three hard to reach corners where the walls and ceiling met. I’ve bought an extender that telescopes out to twelve feet. I have an edger, brush, and roller that can be attached. Control, though, is challenging, and a bit comical, and a strain on the neck, squinting up there at the wall from twelve feet away. Refreshing the paint on them is also an interesting process.
Got my coffee. Time to write like crazy, at least one more time.
- The weather continues to provide talking points. The temperature been as up and down as a roller coaster this year, and often plays the contrarian. Today’s high on July first, when we normally anticipate nineties and beyond, will be seventy-seven. Not that we’re complaining; just commenting. It’ll be a good day to paint some more walls once I’ve finished my writing.
- My annual urology follow up went well yesterday. Peed fine, no issues. All this was initiated by some trouble in peckerville traced to enlarge prostate in previous years. No follow up actions required. I’ve tried to become more mindful as I’ve matured. Now I’m being more mindful in my peeing. Of course, my mind must riff on the old Caddy Shack Ty Webb (Chevy Chase) meme: “Be the ball.” I’m trying to be the pee.
- I think one of the reasons for my success with peeing was decreasing my sodium levels. I was diagnosed with very high blood pressure (230/130) during my pecker issues. I’d noticed my sodium was a little high on my blood work (141 mmol/L), so I began checking out sodium levels of whatever I was eating. Definitely an OMG experience. Can’t believe the amount of sodium in processed foods, condiments, salad dressings, and the like. The sodium in canned soup was at surreal levels. So was anything with cheese and any sauces. After reading and verifying it on my blood test results, I recognized that I also needed to increase my potassium levels. Learning that magnesium can draw sodium out, I also increased my magnesium levels (hello, bananas!). The other thing that I’d learned affecting my enlarged prostate gland was chocolate. When I ate more than a little chocolate, my stream diminished. So, chocolate was severely curtailed. Another negative influencer is gluten. Controlling my gluten intake and monitoring it, I verified to my own mind that gluten causes me to bloat and swell. The final element was increasing my water to help flush sodium out. Amazing how it’s all interconnected. I appreciate having the net to help me learn, and sites like WebMD.
- Cautious Independence Day planning is afoot. Friends have a tradition of consuming root beer floats while watching the fireworks from their deck. They like us; we like root beer floats, so we’ve become part of their tradition. Looks like we’ll do it again this year, while social distancing, just three couples. There will be floats, but not fireworks.
Got my coffee. Ready to write, but the first requirement will be to update the bible for The Constant, which is the current novel-in-progress. Then I’ll write like crazy, at least one more time.
Floofzoid Personality Disorder (floofinition) – Uncommon condition in which people prefer socializing with animals and consistently shy away from interaction with humans.
If you have floofzoid personality disorder, it’s likely that you:
- Prefer being alone with animals
- Have and enjoy close relationships with animals
- Have difficulty expressing emotions and reacting appropriately to situations unless you’re speaking with animals
In use: “You may have floofzoid personality disorder if you sit alone at parties until you see the hosts’ pet and become animated, calling it over, petting it, and playing with it.”
Back to life for today’s music.
Reading, hearing, and thinking about many black people’s comments yesterday and this morning, I realize (again, sadly) how often they live in tension and fear.
Yet, so many whites do as well – as witnessed by them recorded on videos calling police on blacks just because they’re black.
Blacks have a foundation for their fears; we’ve seen too many videos of police applying unnecessary force and violence on black people, or white people getting away with violence against black people, because, white…black.
As we watch and protest, counter-protest, or hold our breaths and wait, I thought about people and praying, and stumbled into Bon Jovi’s “Livin’ On A Prayer” (1986). The song is about a couple who have nothing but each other, who are hoping to make it together. As noted many times, the song was written during the Reagan era as trickle-down economics were touted. As we know, trickle-down is a bullshit theory that enables the wealthy to get wealthier and provides a cop-out to others, permitting them to issue tax cuts to the wealthy without remorse. (Yeah, and it certainly worked during the coronaivirus in America, as the wealthier managed to increase their wealth while a huge swath of Americans struggle between buying food or paying rent/house payments.)
Seems like, with high-unemployment, a corrupt Republican administration, continuing police brutality and militarization, protests, looting, riots, and then natural disasters AND the novel coronavirus, many in the United States are living on a prayer.
And that’s why it’s today’s theme music.