Sunday, November 22, 2020

Leave of Absence

 I’m taking a break from blogging.  I just don’t much have it in me right now.  Maybe I will resume next month.  But now is not the time.  Although I may post some pics.  I’m trying to get back into photography.  So we’ll see.

Have a good Thanksgiving.  Try to stay safe.  

Talk amongst yourselves until I get back.  But wear a mask while doing it.  

Sunday, November 15, 2020

My Sunday Feeling

Still not quite up to posting just yet.  Even though it would be like shooting fish in a barrel when you consider the current political scene.

It’s been a tough two weeks.  

Y’all stay safe. Really.   

Sunday, November 08, 2020

I Guess Sunday Had To Come

 I have nothing today.  Too much family business last week and today.  And none of it’s good.

Y’all take care.  Life is crazy.

Sunday, November 01, 2020

My Sunday Feeling

 It’s official.  Thanksgiving is cancelled.  Not by the government.  By my cousin Jananne.  Our family has been getting together at her house for Thanksgiving since my mind runneth not to the contrary.  But not this year.  Too dangerous.  

I’ve heard this from other folks as well.  Been family gatherings are just not prudent in the age of COVID.  I ran into a friend at a graveside service.  We usually meet up over at this brother’s house both Thanksgiving night and/or Christmas night.  Again, not this tear.

Meanwhile Donald Trump is running around this great land of ours warning anybody that will listen that if Joe Biden is elected he will “cancel all holidays.”  At the risk of belaboring what should be the obvious, Joe Biden has never said any such thing.  All this is is the weaponized version of the old “the liberals want to outlaw the uttering of ‘Merry Christmas’” con that worked so well for him 4 years ago.  Now, according to Trump, they (the liberals) want to outlaw ALL holidays.  Presumably even MLK Day.  Which, in retrospect, would probably be OK with Trump’s base.  As well as the great man himself.

This is apropos of nothing.  But I always wish folks a “Merry Christmas.”  As does noted atheist Richard Dawkins who points out that due to the commercialization of the holiday the phrase is practically devoid of religious significance.  There’s something to that.

Anyway, guess what.  They country is already shut down.  And it happened on Trump’s watch.  Schools are holding virtual classes.  College athletics are being performed in front of minimal crowds and professional sports, particularly tennis, baseball and basketball basically existed, or exist, in a bubble.  

Conferences are being conducted by Zoom and other internet vendors.  Dining out is largely a thing of the past having been replaced with takeout in most homes.  Offices are empty.  Brick and mortar shops are hurting from reduced foot traffic.  New car sales are stagnant as people are hanging on to their vehicles longer.  I know I did.  I just couldn’t justify putting the money down on a new vehicle when the car I was leasing had only 43,000 miles after 3 and a half years.  So I bought it out of the lease.  

People are saving more money.  I don’t know if I’m saving so much as I am not touching what I have saved.  But if people save money instead of spending it this has an effect on the economy.  This perverse result is known by economists as the “Paradox of Thrift.”

All on faux businessman Donald Trump’s watch.  His administration’s inept “handling” of the epidemic combined with the mere pain his tariffs have caused have locked this country up more solidly than he or Joe Biden could actually do if either of them set out to do it.  And just wait and see what happens if the Affordable Care Act is declared unconstitutional. Upon the Motion of the Trump Administration and Republic state Attorneys General including our own.  You don’t think millions of Americans losing health insurance won’t have an adverse impact on the economy?  Particularly at the state level?

But Trump doesn’t want to talk about any of that.  He wants to talk about Hunter Biden’s laptop.  He wants to talk about Joe Biden’s alleged lack of mental acuity.  He wants to talk about liberals outlawing the holidays that we will still celebrate no matter who wins.  We will just celebrate them amongst our immediate family.  Because sensible people like my Cousin Jananne all over the country know it’s too risky to get together.  

And Donald Trump doesn’t want to talk about that.

As I was leaving the service I turned to my friend.

“It occurs to me that I don’t know when I will ever see you again,” I said.  

“I know,” he replied.  “That’s one hell of a thing isn’t it?”

It is one hell of a thing.

As are paybacks.  If you haven’t done your duty by now, do so Tuesday.  

Pay those bastards back.  



Sunday, October 25, 2020

My Sunday Feeling

I voted last week.  

I used to always wait until the day of the election to exercise the old franchise.  I actually liked getting out with the crowd, visiting people in line with me, seeing all the campaign volunteers with their signs.  I used to think there was nothing more American than Election Day.  Not even the 4th of July.  Not even the World Series.

I still feel that way.  But not so much this year.  Not while a sitting President tries to use the government to game the system.  Which is a funny sentence to write now that I think about it.  In any event, I wanted to make sure that my vote was counted the second the polls closed.  Evidently lots of other folks thought that way too as early voting has reached record levels this year.  

And I’m guessing that most of those early votes aren’t being cast for Donald Trump.  But I’ve been wrong before.  Like 4 years ago.

It wasn’t too bad.  I voted at the branch library here in my neighborhood.  Took maybe 20 minutes.  My selection has been recorded on history’s immortal scroll.  So has the Deacon’s as it turns out.

For whatever it’s worth.      

I ran into an old friend the other day.  I think she put it succinctly when she said “This election feels like a weight sitting on my chest.  I want it removed.”

I get that.  And that’s a hell of a thing.  I mean I know that elections have always been hotly contested.  After all as an old Tammany Hall pol advised a callow young Franklin D. Roosevelt “politics ain’t beanbag.”  

No it ain’t.  But just because it ain’t beanbag shouldn’t mean that politics should produce palpable existential dread.  And this year’s election has.  At least for those who can feel it at least.  

I didn’t sense any of that amongst my fellow voters last week.  Although I did seem to sense more of a feeling of seriousness although I concede that I may be projecting.  I didn’t catch much of the usual chitchat that you generally hear in the voting line. 

Again, maybe I’m projecting.  Or maybe this is what an election during a pandemic and a recession feels like.  

Or maybe the sense of dread that I’m feeling has everything with me turning 65 yesterday.  My Medicare Benefit Award letter is sitting in the passenger’s seat in my car until I get that actual card.  Why I feel compelled to carry the damn thing in my vehicle is unknown to me.  Maybe it’s one of those goofy pre-senile things I’m going to start doing until such time as my friends and loved ones do an intervention before packing me off to the home.   

I know I’m lucky to be 65 given my genetic background.  And, aches and pains aside, I can still go as the brothers say.  Or will again if this shoulder ever heals up.  

Still 65 is a marker.  My healthcare will be cheaper but I’m way closer to the columbarium than I once was.  Or at least it feels like it.  Hell, I could afford my old health insurance.  Wish I could trade back if it would make time crawl.

But I can’t.  And I can’t do a damn thing about it if Trump gets re-elected.  Nothing that makes any sense at least.  I don’t think my Medicare card, or the Medicare Benefit Award letter will work in New Zealand.  I’m not going to liquidate my paltry investments and stick them under the mattress.  I’m not going to buy a bunch of weapons.

Most likely I will continue to sit out here on the porch and mind my own goddamn business.  Hopefully, I will continue to dress appropriately and refrain from yelling at kids when they cut through the yard.  

I can still go.  At least for now.  

At least for now.

Sunday, October 18, 2020

My Sunday Feeling

 I got nothin’.  As in less than usual.

Beat you to it.

Enjoy your Sunday.

Sunday, October 11, 2020

My Sunday Feeling

 A man of my acquaintance posted a rather hair raising story of an incident that happened as he was out walking in his neighborhood-or so I gathered.  He said a “disheveled” white man sicced his dogs on a young black woman out walking hers.  Naturally, he cussed her out in the process.  My friend ran to her aid while urging her to call 911.  The disheveled man went back into his house.  My friend stayed with the lady until the cops showed up.  

“We’re not all like that,” my friend said.  Meaning white folks.  

“I know,” she replied.  

And I suppose order was restored after that.

There is an African American gentleman who lives around the corner from us.  About the time the Deacon and I took in borders ourselves I noticed college aged black kids walking around the neighborhood.  2 boys and a girl.  I tend to be out on the porch a lot, the porch being my personal lebensraum over here.  

The kids always wave and say “hello.”  I used to think they were just being friendly.  And I suppose they are.  But after awhile, it occurred to me that there was something more to their greetings.  Joe and Sarah run and walk in the neighborhood.  I doubt they feel compelled to smile and wave at anybody they see out on the stoop along their way.

Which sucks.  

The macro version of the disheveled cracker my friend posted about got taken down by State and Federal law enforcement in Michigan.  About 16 guys were arrested for plotting to kidnap the Governor of Michigan.  These mutts, holding themselves out as the “Wolverine Militia” probably could not knock over a lemonade stand.  

For example, one of their “plans” (conveniently hatched up in the presence of an agent wearing a wire) involved sending somebody up to the door of the Governor’s vacation residence and plugging her when she came to answer.  Like the Governor of Michigan would answer the door.  Like an intruder would have gotten within 30 yards of the door.

Still, these idiots must have been about to go operational to some degree seeing as how they got picked up on the basis of a US Attorney’s Information filed with the Clerk and not an Indictment.  That’s what Uncle does if he needs to pick you up in a hurry.

The leader of the “militia” was not exactly a candidate for Man of the Year.  He was unemployed.  And his girlfriend had just kicked him out of the home they shared.  Some men react to such adversity by entering into a period of reflection and self-care.  Some make friends with whiskey in the immortal phrase of the late great Dan Jenkins, father of the wonderful Sally Jenkins.  

And some decide to try to kidnap the goddamn Governor of Michigan.  

What a time this is.  

You wonder how many other similar “militia” types are out there? And you wonder whether some of them will go ballistic in the event a) Trump loses the election or b) Trump loses and refuses to concede.

You wonder why some white folks are threatened by the presence of black folks in their neighborhood.  Or women in public office.  Or whatever it is that has put a bug up their ass.

But I understand why my young neighbors always make it a point to call out to me and wave as they make their way to the park.  

God knows I’m not widely known for my warm and inviting personality.  Actually I’m not known for that at all. I may not be the friendliest person around but I’m damn sure not dangerous.  And I’m not a bigot.  

So I always smile and wave back as they go on about their way.  

Because we’re not all “like that.”

That’s the best I can do.  Other than to get out and vote in an attempt to restore sanity.