Monday: A Few Things

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.

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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?
  4. 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.
  5. 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.

Wednesday’s Theme Music

Went out shopping yesterday, Trader Joe’s and Costco in Medford, OR. We were masked up. We heard it wasn’t bad…

They were wrong.

Costco won’t allow entrance unless you have a mask ‘on’. Everyone wore a mask, but not properly. Several had the mask down below their nose and/or mouths. The store has signs up about keeping social distance, and people around with signs. Signs won’t ever deter the ignorant or self-absorbed. Those who ‘know better’ don’t give a shit about signs. Frustrating Costco experience.

It was bliss compared to Trader Joe’s.

TJ’s controlled entrance; one shopping unit out, one group in. Separation was begun on the sidewalk outside. Tape marked off six feet segments.

Most folks outside were not wearing a mask. Why wear a mask? They’re outside. The man in front of us was eating a sandwich. That seems safe.

Inside the store, about three-quarters were masked. Not all of them practiced six-feet of SD; either they didn’t care, were self-absorbed and didn’t notice, or thought all of this was trumpshit (you could see that by their actions).

Yeah, it pissed me off, but I remembered people. Doing the right thing is hard. It requires mindfulness, practice, and patience. Few U.S. citizens are ever accused of being those three things.

Finally, worse though, in both stores, were the employees. Focused on work, they frequently blew through the idea of being six feet apart.

I can only imagine the shit that they’re saying about me at home. I was a senior NCO in the military. My eyes can express a great deal of anger and contempt when it finds its way in me. Yeah, I’m not a patient and tolerant person, especially when I think someone is being stupid.

As an addendum to the whole thing, groups are organizing together in freedom rallies. What cracked me up is that they said, “a military mindset” must be used. A ‘military mindset’ to me means order, structure, discipline. It means listening to your intelligence in the sense of the experts who gather and analyze data. It does not mean asserting your will to do something else in the face of the intell provided.

From all of this, a fave song by The Offspring jumped into the stream. From 1994, here’s “Come Out and Play”. Obviously, it’s chosen for the line repeatedly employed, “You gotta keep them separated.”

By the way, our county had been steadily reporting no new cases. We went ten days, I think. But guess what? New cases of testing positive are being reported. 

Gosh, I wonder why?


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