The Solstice Hath Arrived!

`

`

`

As of this post’s timestamp…

• Winter’s longest night / shortest day
has officially arrived north of the equator.

• Summer’s shortest night / longest day
has officially arrived south of the equator.

Well, at least, the creator of the universe was sufficiently fair-minded to cycle the seasons; expect all 7.9 Billion of us mortals to share the heat and cold / lightness and darkness.

Had this been left up to the current predominant, mortal hierarchy, by now, either the north or the south would’ve discovered the methodology to prevent Earth from changing the tilt on it’s axis; thereby condemning the losing faction to eternal winter.

`

`

`

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

`

`

`

`

`

`

`

Supersized US

`

`

`

As far as food product marketing scams go, this one may sound innocuous, yet…

The practice of supersizing portions (“just” to speed up repeat business / fatten the corporate bottom line) can also (literally) fatten the consumer’s bottom line.

In addition to bigger servings leading to bigger butts (depending on the product), the accompanying, alarmingly unhealthy tonnage of sodium, sugars and saturated fats can lead to hypertension, coronary heart disease, stroke, diabetes, osteoarthritis, etc.

Let’s flesh this issue out… oh… say… by talking peanut butter (preferably the healthier variety that requires our stirring the separated peanut oil back in).

CAUTION: No discussion would be complete sans a warning of potentially debilitating and deadly Peanut Allergies. Best advice to first time, potential, goober eaters is to always exercise caution; i.e., seek advice from your primary care physician!

So, here’s where we’re at. We’ll start by factoring in the peanut butter industry-wide suggested excessive, serving size; as well as crunch the other sandwich ingredients’ numbers…

  • 190 calories [2 tbsp (32g) peanut butter]
  • 160 calories [2 slices of bread]
  • +50 calories [1 tbsp (20g) jelly or jam]
  • 400 calories [Grand Total]

400 calories for JUST 1 sandwich? Geesh, that’s 20% of the typical adult’s daily, 2,000 calorie intake; which can easily stymie our best intentions (New Year’s Resolutions?) to stick to a nutritionally well-balanced diet.

Additional Stats: Each jar of my favorite peanut butter brand promises 23 sandwiches, total, however, by my spreading it just a tad more sparingly, I’ve been able to net 8 additional sandwiches (31 total). This also drops the calorie count from 190 down to 141. Doing the math:

190 calories X 23 sandwiches = 4370 calories
4370 calories ÷ 31 sandwiches = 141 calories

  • 141 [PB]
  • 160 [Bread]
  • +50 [Jelly / Jam]
  • 351 [New Total]

This sandwich total can be further reduced by
buying lower calorie breads and fruit spreads;
or, even better yet, slicing up some fresh fruit.

Beyond That: These 8 extra sandwiches mean that, for every 3 jars of peanut butter (8 X 3 = 24), I’m netting 1 more sandwich than each jar’s peddled 23. Yep, that’s like getting 1 FREE PB JAR for every 3 purchased. Even better, I’m easily maintaining my old college day’s “fighting weight”; and, all the while not sacrificing one iota of PB&J sandwich flavor.

Beyond Beyond That: By not using up the PB so rapidly, this helps compensate for supply chain woes, which, way too frequently, render our supermarkets’ PB and J aisles barren.

Beyond Beyond Beyond That: Staying fit and trim just might, someday, save my life in yet another way. You see, this liberty loving, liberal can envision literally fleeing for my freedom; namely, outrunning fascistic freak Trump’s Inauguration Day 2025 “parade”; one overrun by his marauding QAnon zombies; menacing, MAGA maniacs; psycho Proud Boys; deployed goosestepping goons and rolled out tank commandos.

`

`

`

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

`

`

`

`

`

`

`

Sheep and Donkeys

`

`

`

Seeing how, within my homeland (the rapidly shedding greatness U.S. of A.), a couple chunks of our populace have been adopting mannerisms consistent with common barnyard animals (namely sheep and donkeys), I cannot help but worry about America’s future.

I sure hope that this affinity for pastoral settings is not permanently modifying that “A” component to read the U.S. of Apathetic, or worse yet, the U.S. of Asshats (or if you’d prefer, the more vulgar “A” variant).

Either way, that would mean that getting the upper hand on today’s burning issues at hand, oh, say, global warming, the pandemic, a certain orange fascistic freak and his insurrectionist cultists, socioeconomic inequity / injustice, police brutality, gun violence / mass murders, misogyny, xenophobia, etc. just ain’t gonna happen.

Yet, as I just re-read those above three paragraphs I could not help but wonder why I’m even blogging onward; especially when my efforts are mostly getting deaf eared? I mean, is it time for me to become an unbecoming member of that flock of sheeple, too? Time to forsake any further efforts to battle those societal scourges? Hmm… if yes… that’d certainly simplify my life as a WP blogger.

But, what would I blog about, instead?

I know… I KNOW… I could report the lowdown re an especially localized current event! Yes, indeed, allow me to try on my new sheep’s wool blogger’s cap for size…

As any dishwasher can attest, when anything made of glass accidentally hits the linoleum, it’s not a pretty sight (or sound, too, for that matter).

Yet, that pretty much sums up what nearly went down in my kitchen, earlier this new day, when the Frisbee sized / shaped bowl I had knocked off the counter, had other “ideas”. Indeed, it did wind up flying several feet away, HOWEVER…

Instead of the expected crashing, cracking and shards scattering sound effects (to be Foley artist enhanced in post production), there was this muted plop when it made a picture perfect, no damage done, landing into the nearby plastic bucket, which I had used to mop the kitchen floor last night.

I only mention this because were I to ever intentionally attempt to fling a bowl into a bucket, I seriously doubt I could ace it on the first try. In fact, I’d guesstimate my chances of ever accomplishing such a feat (in one take) to be one in a zillion; if even that. (For the precise odds, just ask any nearby idled actor, who doth a credible Mr. Spock impression).

I can now kinda, sorta sense what it must feel like to Hail Mary a basketball; i.e., totally pull off the full court, game winning buzzer beater (sound effects to be Foley artist enhanced, too, in post production).

So my readers and visitors, what do ya think? Should I hang on to my sheep’s wool blogging hat? Or head back to the heavily land-mined / booby-trapped Trumpian trenches?

`

`

`

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

`

`

`

`

`

`

`

Protoplasm Puddles, Anyone?

`

`

`

This past week, Michigan has weathered two windstorms that transcend the garden variety of yesteryear.

While it’s unsettling enough for humans to need to fight the climate change intensified, (now unnatural) forces of nature; e.g., just to force open a screen door to egress one’s domicile, it’s that one other aspect that’s utterly uncanny; namely, the sound of the gales, themselves. There are no apt words, to date, that adequately describe what I’ve been hearing.

I guess I’ll just have to settle for the word, UNEARTHLY, for indeed, climate change / global warming (as I type / as you read) is, full speed ahead, morphing our home world into an alien world. And if we don’t tend to this, STAT, our planet will become uninhabitable.

I mean, what the hell good would a respiration assist from a cooling, air-conditioned spacesuit do if overpowering gusts of wind body slam each of us into a puddle of protoplasm?

`

`

`

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

`

`

`

`

`

`

`

A Stuck in the Grooves Stylus

`

`

`

The resurgence in popularity of the vinyl record, at least, will spare this oldie-but-goodie man the task of writing an extensive blog opener re what this music delivery system was… correction… is all about. And what it IS all about transcends the obvious. More about that by blog’s end.

And oh, what a particular vinyl recording was… correction… is the Song is Over; penned by Pete Townshend; performed; recorded, and released by the Who on 14 August 1971; yep, just four scant torn off 2021 calendar pages beyond that half century mark.

Townshend’s song title (oft repeated within the lyrics) can either directly address the beyond repair romantic relationship or serve as metaphor to describe the capitulation one typically (m)utters when confronted by some it’s-too-late, no-win scenario; either playing out in real time or just as the aftermath’s fallout apparently buries that last glimmer of hope; the disheartening realization that one has likely reached this temporal roadblock:

• The PAST is inaccessible because the Laws of Physics say so.

• The PRESENT is insufferable due to the triple threat of feverish
global warming, corona-variants and hot headed insurrectionists.

• The FUTURE is… WHOA… wait a sec… future? WHAT FUTURE?

Which cycles us back to Townshend’s Song is Over. Or, more to the point, an actual, not all that long ago playback of my own vinyl recording; only to discover that 5:55 into that 6:16 long track, with a scant 21 seconds away from Song is Over being over, the needle got stuck in the groove (not due to any permanent damage; just a temporary, tiny glob of randomly positioned schmutz that decades of Michigan summer humidity had transformed into a barely seeable “roadblock”.

I literally busted out in laughter upon the realization that sans any intervention on my part, the Song was NOT only NOT OVER, it could NOT possibly ever BE OVER; this all playing out (uh, all not playing out) serving as metaphor to the read between the lines message from within (or was it from above?)…

The Song is NEVER Over if you hang in there, my friend!

Words of wisdom for me… indeed, for all of us… to take to heart.

Who says old school tech, even the stuck stylus, cannot teach us anything anymore, huh?

BTW, my kudos to KD; seeing how her 12/16 post inspired my 12/16 post.

`

`

`

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

`

`

`

`

`

`

`

Nothing’s Left: Poetic Acrostic

`

`

`

Society’s frayed fabric; integrity bereft
Unravels and strands; its warp and weft
Fevers of covid and climate; exhibit heft
Freaky white elephant trumpets; lies ‘bout ballot theft
Eager confederates dredge, hyper-partisan cleft
Repress the free press; free elections; until nothing’s left

`

`

The acrostic’s message spells out / sums up the net effect on folks
who get oppressed by a stick-figure leader in a threadbare society

`

`

`

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

`

`

`

`

`

`

`

Some Assembly Required

4…

3…

2…

1…

Tho what I’m about to “reveal” would hardly warrant any graying, crusty, newspaper editor’s barked out “Stop the Presses!” command (as seen in many a 40s era. B & W, film noir classic), this is still worthy of mention.

And not to worry, I’ll be mercifully brief.

This past Sunday night, in spite of my having to yet capture even the semblance of a holiday buzz, I cued up my CD player to, bare minimum, establish the apropos ambience. No sooner than Darlene Love began belting out All Alone on Christmas, I was soldiering onward, actually downward, to my cellar.

Now back in my living room, slowly but surely, I began unboxing and assembling my lovely Christmas tree (family “owned and operated” since 1993).

Upon stringing up a string of lights and hanging the ornaments with care (some of them deeply rooted in the late 1950s), with the speed of light, flashbacks of bygone Decembers began presenting themselves.

In no particular order, I was envisioning younger versions of myself, each stage of my life inviting prompt “visits” from my (now late) parents, (still alive) sibling and bygone, too long absent (presumably still live ‘n’ kickin’) friends.

By the time the concluding switch-off-all-the-extraneous-room-lighting, dramatic hang-the-tree-topper-star, stand-back-to-energize-the-tree-lights, moment had arrived, so had I.

Yes, at times, it is still possible to summon forth the yearned for, very state of mind that has been eluding us.

WARNING: Open mind and some assembly required!

`

`

`

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

`

`

`

`

`

`

`

Quick Limerick: G on the Spot?

Dr. G’s ego boasts persona lacking
Do his pills / potions have FDA backing?
We hear of patients he sickens
While his fat wallet thickens
On social nets hear him crowing & quacking

`

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

Fortune Cookie Blog: Cookie 1 of 2

`

`

`

Digging out from global warming driven (un)natural disasters;
rebuilding up from Ground Zero after each freakish hurricane,
tornado, snow / ice / fire storm may appear courageous, BUT,
in actuality, this exposes top-down governmental cowardice.
Climate Change denier “leaders” bury heads/bury Earth, too;
race the human race (all 7.9 Billion people) toward extinction.

`

`

`

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

`

`

`

`

`

`

`

Fortune Cookie Blog: Cookie 2 of 2

`

`

`

Digging out from global warming driven (un)natural disasters;
rebuilding up from Ground Zero after each freakish hurricane,
tornado, snow / ice / fire storm may appear rational, BUT that
fails to get to the very heart of the cause & effect relationship.
We’re treating symptoms; failing to reduce Global Warming’s
fever which makes future catastrophes inevitable. This brings
to mind Albert Einstein’s genius / apt quip, “Insanity is doing
the same thing over and over and expecting different results.”

`

`

`

Stay Publicly / Properly Masked!
Stay Safe at Home!
Stay Healthy!

-30-

`

`

`

`

`

`

`